En Español

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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

Cultural requirements for Heliotropium angiospermum in Florida
April 10, 2006 - What are the cultural requirements for Heliotropium angiospermum?
view the full question and answer

Hollies not retaining leaves in Tulsa
August 10, 2008 - I have Little Red Hollies that have lost their leaves, some areas being bald. They are also not full - you can see through them. These were planted in this condition Spring of '08 and have been wat...
view the full question and answer

Will blue eyed grass grow under black walnut trees?
January 18, 2016 - Will blue eyed grass grow under black walnut trees? I know the Siberian Iris is tolerant but the scientific names are not the same yet everything I read indicates that blue eyed grass is not in the g...
view the full question and answer

Native turkscap failing to thrive in Shiro TX
March 19, 2013 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, Two years ago I transplanted several native (not cultivars) Drummond's turkscaps in the proximity of water oaks in the front yard. All get shade and some sun. They seemed to ...
view the full question and answer

No berries on dogwoods in GA
November 18, 2010 - I have 4 native dogwood trees. I have owned the property for 4 years. They have never produced berries. Can you tell me why? are the trees male and female, and could I have all males?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center