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 - May 10, 2012

From: Wooster, OH
Region: Midwest
Topic: Seasonal Tasks, Trees
Title: Transplanting Trees in OH
Answered by: Anne Bossart

QUESTION:

Is the middle of May too late to dig out Arborviteas and spruces to transplant? I live in central Ohio.

ANSWER:

The quick answer is yes, it is too late.  It used to be said that in your part of the world you could only plant (or transplant) trees in months that have the letter "r" in their names.  That means that May through August are a no-go (too sunny, warm and dry).

But really ... it depends. 

It depends on: how big the tree you would like to move is (the smaller the tree, the greater chance of success), on what type of soil you have (rich, moist soil is better than dry, sandy soil), how hot the weather is (if it is cool and rainy or even overcast the tree will not transpire as much as if it is hot and sunny), how much native soil you manage to dig out with the tree roots (some trees, like apples, seem drop all their soil no matter how careful you are, so then transplanting them is essentially like planting a bare-root tree) and how much of the root system you dig out (if the transplanted tree does not have enough roots to deliver the necessary water and nutrients to the top, you should prune the tree accordingly, to improve the chances of survival).

Finally, it depends on how much risk you are willing to take.  If you can't stand the thought of losing the trees, then wait until early fall (when the soil is still warm enough for the tree to regenerate some of the root system and then go dormant for the winter).  If you can ... then go for it.

There are some videos on eHow regarding transplanting evergreens that you will find helpful.

 

More Trees Questions

Cypress poisonous to livestock from Arlington, TN
December 06, 2012 - Are green giant cypress poisonous to livestock?
view the full question and answer

Huisaches in pots from Houston TX
May 20, 2012 - I have special (and probably weird) affinity to huisaches (acacia farnesiana). As a child I used to admire the three that elegantly guarded our backyard looking almost like fingers reaching for the s...
view the full question and answer

Trees and shrubs turning brown in Dripping Springs TX
October 31, 2011 - Due to the extended drought - a number of trees and shrubs in our Dripping Springs area property have turned brown. Specifically: Live Oak; Agarita; Ash Juniper; Cedar Elm. Is this a dormant stag...
view the full question and answer

Shade Trees for Bullhead City, AZ
August 12, 2014 - We have a patio with 2 old (unused) fire pit cut-outs; about 4 ft wide each. The cut out is not lined with concrete or brick: just rimmed with the concrete on all sides. The center of the cut-outs i...
view the full question and answer

Trees for a new home in Las Cruces, NM
October 06, 2009 - I've just purchased a brand new home in a sub-division in Las Cruces, NM and I'm looking for some landscaping advice. I come from upper-central Illinois, so I'm used to having trees pretty much al...
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