Explore Plants

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
    
 

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 - November 17, 2010

From: Pearland, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Compost and Mulch, Transplants, Trees
Title: Time to transplant an Eastern Redbud in Pearland, TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

When is the best time in the fall to transplant an Eastern Redbud tree in Pearland, TX? We have one approximately 6 feet tall in the back yard and want to move it to the front ASAP.

ANSWER:

For Cercis canadensis (Eastern redbud) or just about any tree, now is good, or any time except when a hard freeze is predicted, until about the end of January. You still will have to take precautions to avoid transplant shock. Prepare a hole larger than you think you'll need, and put some compost in it to help with drainage and to make the nutrients in the soil available to the little tiny rootlets, many of which will be damaged in transit. Don't fertilize! Your tree will be stressed enough without having fertilizer urging it to put on leaves at the wrong time of the year. Depending on the strength of the trunk and the height of the tree, you may want to stake it. You can go to any home improvement store and find several different systems for staking. A good staking system will keep it from keeling over when a hard wind blows; it probably should stay staked for at least a year. To water, and you will need to water, even though the tree is dormant, stick a hose down in the loose soil you have made for your tree roots and let it slowly dribble until water shows up on the surface. You should do this about 2 times a week for a couple of months unless you are having steady regular rain.

The most important step is to get as much of the root system out of the ground quickly and back into your new, prepared hole the same day, if at all possible. The longer those roots are exposed, the more they will dry out. During dormancy, the water in a tree is down in the lower part and the roots; they cannot go without watering.

Here is an article from About.com that summarizes the steps to take, How to Transplant Trees and Shrubs.

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:

 

 

 

More Trees Questions

Planting petunias around base of oak tree from Houma LA
March 30, 2013 - I live in south Louisiana and I want to plant petunias. Can I plant petunias around the base of an oak tree?
view the full question and answer

Plants dying in circular garden in Killeen, TX.
July 31, 2012 - I have a large circular garden in my backyard out in the country in Killeen Texas. Last year two elms died. This year the Rose of Sharon has been dying one by one. One bush will completely die off bef...
view the full question and answer

Changing color of crape myrtle blooms
July 08, 2008 - I have 5 well established crape myrtle trees whose blooms are a very light lavender/pink color. I would like to know if there is any way to deepen or change the color of the blooms. I would prefer a m...
view the full question and answer

Flower color under large pine tree from South Elgin IL
April 05, 2013 - I have a very large pine tree that I would like to plant some flowers under. I have hostas, stonecrop and fern, but like to add some color. What do you suggest? Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Searching for an Escarpment Black Cherry (Prunus serotina) for sale
October 16, 2007 - I am trying to find an Escarpment Black Cherry Tree for planting in my yard. Do you know of anyone that carries this particular type of tree?
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.