Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

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

Division of non-native Lamb's Ear plant in Austin
May 17, 2010 - I have a lambs' ear plant that has gone wild, and I would like to divide and transplant part of the plant. Advice? Live in Austin, TX. 78757
view the full question and answer

When to transplant volunteer Cedar Elms in Cedar Park, TX?
October 11, 2012 - We have a number of volunteer cedar elms we would like to transplant. When is the best time to do this? Should they be potted first and later transplanted or transplanted immediately? Thanks.
view the full question and answer

Trimming prairie coneflower for lower height when blooming in Hampshire IL
August 16, 2009 - Can the prairie coneflower, Ratibida Columnifera, be cut by half or some amount before setting flower buds to force the plant to bloom at a shorter height? If not, when is the best time to dig and tra...
view the full question and answer

Transplant shock in Chestnut Oak in Waukesha WI
September 13, 2009 - Bought and had nursery install a 4" diameter, 16' tall chestnut oak. Watered it as instructed-every 2nd or third day-hose stream size of my pinky for 45-60 minutes. It was planted in July. Just l...
view the full question and answer

Garden problems from Centreville VA
July 23, 2011 - Plants die, trees won't grow. I've replaced the soil (6") twice. Replaced grass twice and planted new plants and tree. After two yrs, the tree is still the same size and the flowering bushes nea...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.