En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Wednesday - April 21, 2010

From: Virginia Beach, VA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Planting, Seasonal Tasks, Transplants, Trees
Title: Transplanting a redbud in Virginia Beach VA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have a 5-6 ft. Redbud Tree and like to dig up and move to different spot in my backyard. How/what is the proper way to do it without killing the tree?

ANSWER:

Ordinarily, our first recommendation is to do that in the late Fall or Winter, when the tree is semi-dormant. Cercis canadensis (eastern redbud) is native to your area at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay, according to our Plants of Chesapeake Bay list in our Special Collections section.   In Austin, Central Texas, USDA Hardiness Zone 8a, our redbuds have already bloomed, leafed out and are beginning to show some seed pods. In Fairfax County, you are in Zone 7a to 8, very near ours, and we would hate for the tree to be moved while it is in bloom, because almost certainly you would lose the blooms. No matter how carefully you do so, it is always a shock to move a tree, and we believe it would be preferable to wait until Fall to do so. However, if there is some compelling reason, such as construction in the area where the tree is now, then the sooner you get it moved, the better. The research we have seen indicates that a young tree can be successfully transplanted in Spring or Fall. 

For more information on the tree itself, read this USDA Forest Service article on Eastern Redbud. Some more specific instructions are found in this eHow website How to Grow a Redbud Tree. Even with your best efforts and planting it in the cooler Spring, you may still have some leaf loss. This is transplant shock, and if it begins to bother you, trim off about 1/4 of the crown. Mostly what that tree will be doing this year is getting its roots back into working order. Don't fertilize! In the first place, fertilizer is to encourage new growth, which the roots don't have the time or energy for at first. In the second place, fertilizer can actually shock those little new rootlets that are trying to get going in the new soil and access nutrients from the soil. Trimming off some of those upper stems and leaves reduces the transpiration, or loss of water, that the roots must supply. Don't trim off too many leaves, though, they are needed for photosynthesis to provide nutrition to the whole tree.

 

From the Image Gallery


Eastern redbud
Cercis canadensis

Eastern redbud
Cercis canadensis

Eastern redbud
Cercis canadensis

Eastern redbud
Cercis canadensis

More Transplants Questions

Care of recently propagated Century Plant from Litchfield Park AZ
April 24, 2011 - To germinate some century plant seeds I put them in dirt and put the pot in a tray of water. Now, I have 3 sprouts about an inch tall and they came up about an inch apart. Question is, how should I w...
view the full question and answer

Can plants bought at Plant Sale wait a while in Leander TX
April 06, 2010 - I would like to buy some native plants at the upcoming sale at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, but my yard is not ready to receive them. We are building a new house and anticipate being able ...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting adventitious shoots of a mountain laurel in San Antonio
August 20, 2009 - Is it possible to transplant branches (shoots) growing from a mountain laurel that was chopped down? Some are two years old and several feet tall (but not yet blooming) and some as small as a foot. ...
view the full question and answer

Decline of non-native Star Jasmine in California
June 30, 2008 - We just had 2 trachelospermum jasminoides planted in a redwood planter box about a month ago. We can't figure out if we are watering too much or too little but some leaves are turning yellow and the...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting bamboo
July 29, 2008 - To transplant bamboo from one place to another, do you dig the plant up or do you get a cutting, put it in water and then root the plant?
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center