Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Saturday - April 29, 2006

From: El Paso, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Transplants
Title: Transplanting of non-native Vitex
Answered by: Nan Hampton and Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

I live in El Paso and have a fifteen year old vitex tree planted too close to a mesquite tree in my backyard. As a result of this, the vitex has failed to thrive. My question is this: can I replant the vitex to another spot without killing it? If so, when is the best time to do this. Thank you.

ANSWER:

Vitex or Chaste tree (Vitex agnus-castus) is a non-native species introduced to North America from China and India. Since our focus and expertise is in plants native to North America, it is really not in our purview. We can, however, point you to some general advice about transplanting trees. The USDA has a very good article about transplanting trees. Fall and spring are the best times for transplanting. The hole to put it in needs to be big enough—essentially, twice the width and slightly less than twice the depth of the root ball. Pruning the top growth by 1/3 and, if possible, root-pruning a few months ahead of time will improve your possibility of success. Also, root stimulator is sometimes useful.

You might also consider a native alternative to your vitex tree. There is always the possibility that non-native plants will escape from cultivation and become invasive. Texas A&M and the Texas Forest Service have an excellent online Texas Tree Planting Guide that gives you choice options for several criteria (e.g., your county, size of the tree, type of soil, etc.) for selecting a tree to plant.

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Foxglove safety from England
April 21, 2013 - Hi, regarding safety of foxgloves grown near edible plants - foxgloves are good companion plants for vegetables, in case of root vegetables they improve their storage life and quality. Foxgloves prote...
view the full question and answer

What crops grow in Laredo, Texas?
September 19, 2012 - I have to do a report on Laredo Texas and one of the questions is what type of crops do they grow in Laredo Texas. I couldn't find an answer anywhere and I was wondering if you can help me?
view the full question and answer

Distribution of Non-Native Royal Empress Tree
August 23, 2007 - I was wondering if you could give me the statistics for the Royal Empress Tree in the Long Island area. I have two and have read numerous articles online regarding them being invasive through the root...
view the full question and answer

Habiturf for Round Rock TX
March 17, 2013 - Topic Habiturf. We have just aerated our lawn. We were planning on throwing out bermudagrass seed. We already have bermudagrass as well as many weeds in the lawn especially the blue stem clump grass w...
view the full question and answer

Brown, dry leaves on weeping willow tree
May 01, 2008 - We live in central TX and have just planted a weeping willow tree. Our back yard has a retention pond and ravine that parallels our property and we were told that the weeping willow will do perfectly ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.