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
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

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 Seasonal Tasks Questions

Trimming of Aster ericoides in Philadelphia
March 20, 2010 - Should I cut back my Aster ericoides, ‘schneegitter’ in the spring?
view the full question and answer

Planting Muhlenbergia capillaris (Gulf muhly)
October 27, 2011 - Is it too late to plant Gulf Muhly seed in North Texas (October)?
view the full question and answer

Cutting back woody plants after freeze in Leander TX
December 10, 2009 - I have several woody shrubs in a prominent location. Now that the leaves have frozen, how far back should I cut them? These are Flame Acanthus, Salvia ballotiflora, and Aloysia macrostachya, but I w...
view the full question and answer

Can Juncus effusus winter outside in Mountville PA?
June 28, 2010 - If we have the juncus effusus spiralis outside in a small pond and you say to let it outside in the winter does that mean we should let it in the pond? thanks for your time
view the full question and answer

Flower sucession for Washington DC
June 18, 2012 - Interplanting to cover up spring ephemerals. When bulbs/spring ephemerals (camassia, bluebells, etc.) are dying back, their wilting leaves don't look so great. What can I plant to minimize the me...
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