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

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 Planting Questions

Need tree suggestions for a long, narrow strip in Folsom, CA.
January 18, 2012 - I live in Folsom, Ca. I have a long strip (50') of planting area about 2.5' wide at the top of a retaining wall to the fence behind it. I would like to plant alternating (2) trees down this strip to...
view the full question and answer

Wildflowers for September wedding from Licking MO
June 02, 2013 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I am getting married this September in Licking Missouri back in the woods on my dads land. I would like to have wildflowers for the bouquets and reception decor. Can I get some...
view the full question and answer

Native grass mix for Bastrop County, TX
February 25, 2014 - I plan to put in a small lawn on a tract of land near Rosanky, TX in Bastrop County. There are scattered oaks but the yard space will be mostly open. Soil is basically sandy. Is there a good native...
view the full question and answer

Construction problems on site in Mansfield OH
April 28, 2012 - Last year we had a rectangular above ground pool put in the person who "leveled" for use did a terrible job and basically dug a huge hole for us to put our pool in. The back side of the pool is abou...
view the full question and answer

Taking bluebonnets to Anchorage AK from Sealy TX
June 10, 2010 - Moving to Anchorage Alaska from Texas and I am bringing bluebonnet seeds to plant there. Will the moose eat these plants/flowers?
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