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
2 ratings

Monday - August 23, 2010

From: Aylmer, QC
Region: Canada
Topic: Propagation, Transplants
Title: Transplanting sumacs in Ontario
Answered by: Anne Bossart

QUESTION:

I live in Aylmer Quebec. I have 10 baby sumac in my back yard and want to transplant them at my cottage in southern Ontario on Lake Simcoe. When can I do this and how?

ANSWER:

Sumacs are a bit of an enigma; they spread like crazy and pop up everywhere you don't want them, yet they are notoriously difficult to transplant.  The challenge is compounded when transplanting at a cottage, as most plants need to be watered every couple of days for a few weeks after they are dug up and moved.

However, that does not mean that you shouldn't try as I have seen my neighbour do it successfully!

You have greatly improved your chances of success by indicating that they are babies and that there are ten of them.  Wait until they are getting ready to go dormant for the winter (starting to change colour) or some time in late September when the air is cool but the soil still warm.  This is important because the compromised root system will not be able to take up enough water to keep the plant alive if the sun is strong and the air very warm.  Transplanting them while the soil is still warm gives them time to generate some new roots before winter dormancy, so you wouldn't want to try it after Thanksgiving.

When you do decide to move them, try to minimize the amount of time they spend out of the ground.  Dig them up just before you head to the cottage, wrap their roots in wet paper towel or rags and place them in plastic bags. Plant them as soon as possible when you arrive and water them.  Keep the soil moist (but not soggy) while you are there. If you are lucky, it will rain during the week while you are back home and some of them will survive.

You might also try digging them up now and getting them established in pots in the shade at your home before moving them.  They may transition more easily to independant life at the cottage that way.  (I would be tempted to do half of them using one method and the rest the other).

Good luck.  If none survive, try again; you will surely have more in your yard in Aylmer before you know it!

 

More Transplants Questions

Gregg's Mistflower stressed in Fredericksburg TX
August 07, 2013 - My Gregg's Mist Flower plants are very stressed. The blooms have turned brown and the leaves are drooping. Plants are receiving moderate sun, partial shade. Do they need daily watering this time o...
view the full question and answer

Separate pups on Manfreda variegata in Tucson
July 20, 2009 - Can you tell me the best way to separate pups on a Manfreda variegata? The first ones we tried were very close to the main plant. Your help is appreciated.
view the full question and answer

Field of Dreams
June 07, 2009 - I planted a field of sunflowers in April. I transplanted some of the crowded plants to different rows in mid-May - no problems. I have tried to transplant some of the plants this first week of June ...
view the full question and answer

Dead woody plants in wildlife garden in Austin
March 02, 2011 - I am an enthusiastic and pretty successful wildlife gardener, have studied my Wasowski "Bible", but I can't get any evergreens established in my yard! We live on blackland clay, which I amend with ...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting trilliums in dormancy in Michigan
February 15, 2006 - I live in Michigan. I have a Trillium in my yard and we are having a new septic field put in. I need to know if I can save the whole plant and can I keep it in the house or do I just need the bulb a...
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