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

Tuesday - October 09, 2012

From: Seguin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Planting, Trees
Title: Need advice for planting Bur Oak saplings in Comal County
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

We will be planting several bur oak saplings this fall in deeper soils in Comal County. How close should we plant them? What mortality should we expect? Thanks in advance for your assistance.

ANSWER:

The Bur Oak Quercus macrocarpa (Bur oak) is a large handsome tree whose growth can exceed 100 ft in height and width. This represents a large investment in time and effort, so you want to make every effort to insure the success of this endeavor. Using time tested methods helps to lower the mortality rate.

I’m going to provide two links that have information to get you and your Bur Oaks off to a good start.

The first link is to the Texas Tree Planting Guide. This is an interactive web site from the Texas Forest Service that has several interesting features. Once you get to the web site, try out all of the features, but one that is particularly useful is the Tree Planting Tools. Topics of interest are “Planning for Your Available Space”. This will tell you that trees that get as large as Bur Oaks should probably not be closer than  45 ft.  “How to Select a Tree at the Nursery” and “The Best Way to Plant Your Tree” are full of useful information.

The second link is to the CIty of Houston Parks and Recreation Department. This guide covers questions regarding when to plant, what to plant, how to plant,  where to plant etc.

A third source of information is the article “How to Plant a Tree” on our Step by Step  Guides page.

Some of the information is repetitive, but it is presented from different perspectives.

 

 

From the Image Gallery


Bur oak
Quercus macrocarpa

Bur oak
Quercus macrocarpa

More Planting Questions

Planning garden tasks in advance from Austin
January 03, 2012 - My yard was a disaster last year-grass and trees browning, early leaf fall on flowering plants, and water bills sky high, even with the limited watering days. What can I do this year to prevent this s...
view the full question and answer

Need plants to control erosion on a hillside in Nashville, TN.
February 28, 2012 - Recently, a rogue contractor scraped all the sod off of my Tennessee hillside. Now the clay soil is exposed and washing away quickly. The hill slope is approximately 30 degrees. In the spring I'd ...
view the full question and answer

Fastest growing shade tree for Austin.
April 27, 2015 - What is the fastest growing shade tree suitable for Austin? We are anticipating selling or renting our house in two to three years and want a shade tree for a baked full sun area of the yard that will...
view the full question and answer

When is the best time to transplant Esperanza bushe in Buda, TX?
September 04, 2013 - When is the best time to transplant an Esperanza bush? I want to move it because it is overwhelming my front yard. Thank you,
view the full question and answer

Transplant shock in Texas natives garden
August 20, 2007 - Dear Mr. Smarty Pants, I thought that my new Texas Natives garden was recuperating from ALL the rain. But, suddenly, my Texas Red Bud and the Eve's Necklace next to it have MANY yellow leaves. Is the...
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