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

Need help with a Pecan tree that has been topped in Austin, TX.
July 06, 2010 - Hi Mr. Smarty Plants! I have a pecan tree on my property that was topped by the previous owners. I have searched high and low for information on how to correctly prune a tree that has already been ...
view the full question and answer

Wilting American Smoke Tree in Texas
April 21, 2013 - I planted a young American smoke tree last fall (mid-November) and it put out a good show of tentative new leaves this spring. Then to keep the tree form I clipped some little shrubby start ups at the...
view the full question and answer

Distance for Escarpment oak to house from Lewisville TX
August 22, 2010 - I am planting an Escarpment Live Oak about 15' from my house. Thats as far away as I can plant it. Will this be a safe distance? How large will it be in 20 years?
view the full question and answer

Scrub oaks dropping limbs in Lexington TX
August 23, 2009 - We live in the country between Elgin and Lexington. One of our "scrub" oaks is dropping large limbs. On examination, the limbs have green leaves and they do not appear to be rotted. Do you think ...
view the full question and answer

Live oaks dropping brown leaves
August 02, 2014 - We have three live oaks and one of them has been dropping quite a few brown leaves over the past two weeks. I looked at pictures of trees with oak wilt and ours do not look like the pictures. I als...
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