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
3 ratings

Monday - May 15, 2006

From: San Antonio, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Propagation, Transplants
Title: Survival possibility of transplant of sucker from oak tree
Answered by: Dean Garrett

QUESTION:

My neighbor has a young oak tree in his front yard. It has small leaves and round acorns and once a year sprouts shoot up at its base. The neighbor was kind enough to let me dig some up to try to transplant them. After digging I discovered that the shoots are not individual plants but grew in the dirt from the root system. I did cut one loose leaving approximately 12-14 inches of the root still attached to what should turn into a trunk. I don't know if it will grow. Do you have any idea if they are transplantable, now that I have tried it? If it will grow, do you have any idea what kind of oak it is? If it won't grow, what kind of oak would you recommend if I want a very large umbrella shade and preferably a faster growing one. I don't care if the leaves are large or small. I would appreciate any information you have. Thanks very much.

ANSWER:

Those little shoots around the main tree are called suckers and are connected by rhizomes to the central tree. A commonly planted oak in your area that forms groves in this manner and has small-ish, ovate leaves is the live oak (Quercus fusiformis or Quercus virginiana), probably what you have.

Since you got a length of root or rhizome, it might survive, but it is chancy. The suckers were still relying on the central tree for their nourishment. To encourage roots to expand in the new spot, apply IBA rooting hormone to the root/rhizome before planting.

If it does not survive, a couple of the more commonly planted large oaks native to your area are Bur Oak (Quercus macrocarpa) and Shumard Oak (Quercus shumardii).

 

More Transplants Questions

Peeling bark on red oak in Plano, TX
April 08, 2010 - I have a red oak that was planted 2 years ago. The trunk is approx. 5 in around. The bark around the bottom of the trunk is peeling off. At first we thought it was rabbits so we put some rabbit gua...
view the full question and answer

Can non-native guavas be successfully moved from Gulfport MS?
April 19, 2011 - Can guavas be moved successfully from one established planted location to another? My mother is having to relocate due to MDOT and we would like to move her established guavas. Thank you,
view the full question and answer

Transplanting blue agave pups in Arizona
February 03, 2009 - I have a blue Agave with lots of pups, how do I transplant a few pups into planters. What kind of soil and how much water will they need?
view the full question and answer

Transplanting Blueberries in NY State
November 03, 2011 - I would like to ask you about transplanting blueberry bushes. When can I move them? 3 of them are at least 10 years old and haven't done well in their current location. I have built a fence to keep t...
view the full question and answer

Blackening of top growth of yaupon in Sunrise Beach TX
June 09, 2010 - My question regards a Will Flemming yaupon which I am thinking may be within your scope of expertise. These were recently planted under windy conditions, then hit with a neighbors antiquated jet type ...
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