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 Trees Questions

Small tree for container near pool in Houston
June 24, 2010 - Can you recommend a small tree that I can grow in a pot for shade? Looking for minimal mess because it will be near the pool. How big should the pot be?
view the full question and answer

Problems with tuliptree in North Salem IN
September 02, 2009 - I have a tulip tree and it looks like it is dying. The limbs are starting to turn bright blue. Do I have an insect problem or is it from a lightning strike?
view the full question and answer

Small ornamental tree in Buffalo, NY
August 05, 2009 - Hi.. My family and I have recently moved from coastal North Carolina to Buffalo NY. We have chosen to live in south Buffalo and therefore have a small front yard. We are looking for the perfect tree...
view the full question and answer

Growing Loblolly Pines Outside Native Range
April 03, 2014 - I would like a stand of pines on my property but do not know if they will grow in my area. Do you know if the soil in Waelder, Texas will support pines?
view the full question and answer

Thuja arborvitae not thriving in Austin
November 04, 2010 - I planted 5 giant thuja arborvitae two years ago. They have grown six inches and aren't doing that well. I live in Austin Texas and it was a hot summer. I water them 2x a week, now 1x a week. They a...
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