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

Friday - December 07, 2012

From: Pflugerville, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Planting, Pruning, Trees
Title: pruning Chinkapin oak, Loquat and Monterrey oak trees
Answered by: Guy Thompson

QUESTION:

What is the best time to plant a 45-65 gal. Chinkapin oak tree in Pflugerville. Also, when can i prune fig trees, Loquat trees and a Monterrey oak. Thanks for the information.

ANSWER:

Because Quercus muehlenbergii (Chinkapin oak) drops its leaves in winter, this is the season for planting as well as pruning. The Chinkapin oak becomes a moderately large tree, growing to about 45 ft. high.  Hopefully you have enough space to accommodate this.  Little pruning needs to be done to the tree you are planting, just removing any crossing branches.  Best pruning techniques can be found at this web site.  As the tree grows you may remove lower limbs to create space under the tree. Tips on tree planting can be found at this web site. 

 Quercus polymorpha (Mexican white oak), or Monterrey oak, tends to be evergreen in Central Texas.  It can become a large tree, up to 60 ft. wide and 80 ft. tall.  As a young tree it sometimes develops multiple trunks.  If you wish, prune it, also in winter, to leave only the one strongest trunk to give a typical oak shape.  Otherwise, little pruning is needed.

Loquat, Eriobotrya japonica, is a native of Japan.  The trees are best pruned in early spring, just after fruit harvest and before new buds begin to open.  Prune out enough branches in the crown of the tree to permit light to enter.  This will increase the fruit yield and quality.  Flowers appear in late fall, and fruit ripen in late winter.  Although Loquat trees are drought tolerant, providing plenty of water during the flowering and fruiting season is necessary to assure a good harvest.

Not all Common fig, Ficus carica, varieties survive the occasional freezing weather we have in Central Texas.  Celeste and especially Brown Turkey are the most cold-hardy varieties for our area.  I refer you to this web site for detailed instructions for pruning fig trees.

 

 

More Pruning Questions

Existing live oak taking over in Monahans TX
March 22, 2011 - I have just purchased a home with a huge Live Oak tree in the front yard. The previous owners have over the years allowed the sucker roots to grow unchecked. The tree is shading most of the lawn (di...
view the full question and answer

Failure of Bald Cypress to fully leaf out
April 14, 2008 - My family just moved to a house in Burnet County, about 7 miles south of Bertram, close to the Balcones Canyonlands NWR, with very rocky limestone soil. We bought several trees last fall, including a ...
view the full question and answer

Repairing damage to Anacacho Orchid Tree in Austin
April 30, 2008 - Hi You Guys!! We have an understory Anacacho Orchid Tree in the front and my sweetie was trimming the big oak and dropped a branch down, splitting one of the large branches off the Anacacho. The wou...
view the full question and answer

Correcting overgrown Savannah holly in Goldsboro NC
April 24, 2010 - I have an overgrown Savannah Holly. How do I go about correcting?
view the full question and answer

Transplanting and Pruning Callicarpa
August 21, 2014 - I saw the previous question about Callicarpa from the guy in Texas and I have two questions based on the response. In SW Vermont, is late fall still the best time to transplant my Callicarpas? Also, i...
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