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

Friday - November 12, 2010

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Transplants, Trees
Title: Problems with a Monterey Oak in Austin, TX.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

I have a large Monterey Oak, planted last year that has not gotten any fuller. Do I need to fertilize and if so, when?

ANSWER:

When Mr. Smarty Plants hears about large trees planted a year ago that aren't doing well, the first thing that comes to mind is transplant shock. The first order of business for a transplanted tree (or any plant ) is to get the root system going so that it can support the canopy and initiate new growth. The tree is under stress, and a general rule regarding stressed plants is not to fertilize them. This can stimulate the growth of new leaves, thus putting more stress on the root system.

I've excerpted a portion of an article from the University of Kentucky that gives a good explanation of transplant shock. Reading the complete article will give you some ideas about caring for your Monterey Oak.

Transplant Shock
Whenever a tree or shrub is moved from one growing site (e.g. a nursery) to another (e.g. your landscape), it is stressed. When great care is taken to minimize stress through proper transplant techniques and maintenance, the plant is likely to recover rapidly and become well-established in the new site. Unfortunately, all too often the opposite occurs-the tree or shrub suffers "transplant shock' from careless or improper transplant methods, and recovery is hindered. Poor growth, wilting, yellowing, premature leaf or needle drop and dieback are typical symptoms of transplant shock. Trees or shrubs unable to recover, continue to decline and eventually die.
A tree or shrub may take as long as 3 years to recover from transplanting stress. Even with good root regeneration, the transplant often will not show much top growth until roots reach their original expanse prior to digging. Failure of the plant to regenerate new, healthy roots or to establish its root system in the new site is frequently the underlying cause of transplant shock. Such root-related problems may be traced to one or more factors: stresses that occurred when the plant was removed from the original site, injury in transit, improper planting techniques and/or poor cultural practices.


 

 

More Trees Questions

Possible disease on Eastern Redbud
October 06, 2007 - Our Eastern Redbud appears to be suffering from our recent drought. The leaves are turning brown in July/August on a few branches. A few black spots appear on the leaves before they turn brown. Ot...
view the full question and answer

Identification of tree blooming in Austin with yellow balls
March 21, 2012 - What is the tree/large shrub that is blooming now (mid-March) in the Austin area? It has small mesquite-type leaves, round yellow balls with fuzz on them and is fragrant. Thanks!
view the full question and answer

Small native flowering tree for Virginia
September 21, 2009 - Could you recommend a small flowering tree (8-10' mature size) to plant in front garden next to the house. Full sun. Something that doesn't have invasive roots that would damage the house. Thanks...
view the full question and answer

Bacterial wetwood disease in ash tree
November 11, 2004 - I have an Ash tree in my front yard. It's about 25 - 30 years old. About 2 months ago, it began to ooze sap from a point where a limb had been pruned, I'd say, about 15 - 20 years ago. So this cut ...
view the full question and answer

Identity of tree with pumpkin-like fruit in Florida
October 02, 2012 - Hello. I live in a small town called Molino FL. I was walking on the side of our road and found a tree with pumpkin type fruit on the limbs. I have been trying to figure this tree out for about 3 mont...
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