Explore Plants

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
    
 

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 Trees Questions

Companion plants for Douglas fir in Federal Way, WA
May 11, 2009 - What are good companion plants for large Douglas Fir trees? we have 5 large trees in our cul-de-sac "island" and would like to plant something colorful around the trees. It's very dry, shady, and c...
view the full question and answer

Native Texas tree for anniversary in Austin
May 20, 2009 - My husband and I would like to plant a tree in our yard commemorating our 5 year anniversary (wood anniversary). What native Texas tree can we plant in June? I love Red buds and any pretty blooming ...
view the full question and answer

Cherry laurels next to retaining wall in Austin
September 18, 2010 - My neigbors have 2 cherry laurel trees in their back yard planted within 4 feet of my retaining wall and fence. I am worried the root system will damage my retaining wall. The branches are already pus...
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

Ornamental plants for under live oaks
September 08, 2008 - What ornamental plant will do well under Live Oak trees?
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.