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

Thursday - September 23, 2010

From: San Antonio, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Propagation, Transplants
Title: Problems with a Hackberry tree in San Antonio.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

Our old hackberry tree fell over last year. Now we have dozens of new ones popping up in the same area. We want to transplant a few to another area of the yard, but they aren't surviving. It appears the plants aren't seedlings, but are attached to the old roots. Q: How can we transplant these little trees successfully, please?

ANSWER:

The obvious first question for me is: "Why did the hackberry fall over?" If the answer is "because it was dead," My second question would be: " How did it die?" What Mr. Smarty Plants is getting at is that he needs to have the "rest of the story".

SInce you are in Bexar County, I'm guessing that your tree is Celtis laevigata (Sugar hackberry). What you are dealing with are suckers growing from the main roots of the fallen tree. If you are trying to transplant these suckers and they are not surviving, the young plants probably don't have enough of a root system to become established in the soil at the new site.  Also, trying to do this in the summer in Central Texas is an exercise in futility. This excerpt from the the NPIN page for Celtis laevigata lets us know it can be done; we just need a better strategy.

Propagation :  Can be rooted from juvenile wood and from root sprouts or suckers.  

The two links I'm going to give you have a very good description of the process, but with different species of plants; the first is red twig-dogwood , and the other is rough leaf dog wood. Even though the plants are different, the underlying biology is the same.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More Propagation Questions

Can trees survive if trunks are buried under 3-5 ft of soil?
January 27, 2012 - We have two cedar elms and a mesquite that I protected from backfill as our Texas Hill Country lot was leveled in preparation for building a house. The bulkheads are now holding back 3' to 5' of ma...
view the full question and answer

Eupatorium serotinum (late boneset) for garden setting, care and propagation
October 27, 2007 - What are the prospects for Eupatorium serotinum in a garden setting? What requirements does the plant have? How large does it grow, etc.
view the full question and answer

Planting a meadow garden in Pennsylvania
November 16, 2014 - I live in Saxonburg PA near Pittsburgh PA. I want to put a meadow garden in my back yard. We are building a home so there is no established yard yet just trees and weeds. Where do I start . What...
view the full question and answer

Native plants for sale end of April in Schertz TX
February 13, 2009 - I am trying to raise some native plants for a fund-raiser .They need to be salable by the end of April. Something with flowers would be nice. Any suggestions?
view the full question and answer

Propagation of mustang grape
March 10, 2005 - I'm looking to plant several vines of mustang grapes near my parents retirement home in Beeville, TX (78102). I really have two questions - what's the best way to find them at a nursery or relocate...
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center