En EspaŅol

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

Wednesday - August 29, 2012

From: Boerne, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Transplants, Trees
Title: Transplanting a redbud in Boerne TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Hi there, My question is when is it safe to transplant a native tree? I have a redbud tree come up in m flower bed I want to try to transplant it instead of cutting it out. It is very young - maybe 4-6 months of growth. Less than 1/8" in diamater and about 2.5' tall.I live in the Hill Country North of Boerne, TX - it is still hot here.

ANSWER:

We are so glad you asked. It's depressing to answer all the questions from people with dead or dying new trees who planted them in the hot summer months. They have committed transplant shock, and not that many trees ever recover from it. We strongly recommend that you wait until November to January in Central Texas to plant any woody plant. In fact, we wouldn't recommend planting anything this time of year. You shouldn't be out there in the sun and neither should a new plant.

First, check out our Step-by-Step Guide Transplanting a Tree. The only thing we would add to these excellent instructions is that, having removed the dirt from the new hole, mix some good aged compost in the dirt, maybe about half and half, before you return it to the hole  around your tree roots. And definitely follow the instructions to put some good quality shredded bark mulch over the roots, but not touching the trunk. As time goes by, that mulch will protect the roots from heat or cold and, as it decomposes, will continue to help with the drainage in the hole.

While you are indoors, waiting for cool weather, follow this link to our webpage on Cercis canadensis var. texensis (Texas redbud), where you can learn what amount of sunlight it needs, soils and moisture, to give your plant a good start in life.

 

More Transplants Questions

Problems with a Monterey Oak in Austin, TX.
November 12, 2010 - I have a large Monterey Oak, planted last year that has not gotten any fuller. Do I need to fertilize and if so, when?
view the full question and answer

Tree transplants having problems in Manchaca TX
April 03, 2010 - I have recently transplanted a Mexican Buckeye, Chinquapin oak, and Sandpaper tree that I have been raising inside since they were seedlings. They have now developed a browning of the tips of their l...
view the full question and answer

Rotating a non-native cypress in its hole in Annapolis, MD
April 02, 2009 - I have a follow up question to a Cypress transplant question from December 28, 2008. We trimmed our 5 1/2 foot Dwarf Hinoki Cypress back too far, and now the side facing the street has some bare spot...
view the full question and answer

Does cutting off the budding agave bloom save the plant from Sunrise FL
April 30, 2010 - I have an Agave(century plant) just starting its long flower stalk. I have read the mother plant will die after flowering. Can I cut off the stalk before it flowers to save the plant? If not, how do i...
view the full question and answer

Ash tree dying back to lower sprouts in Kempner TX
June 19, 2010 - My 2 year old ash tree leaves dropped, appears dead, branches dying. New growth near base of tree. Do I cut upper trunk or remove entire tree? My other ash is doing well.
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center