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

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

Is a wasp colony in hollow in my oak tree harming it?
November 26, 2013 - I have wasps colonizing a hollow portion of a live oak here in my backyard in Austin ten feet from my backdoor. They are yellow and black banded, maybe an inch long. Two questions: 1. Are they hurt...
view the full question and answer

Supplier for non-native Norfolk Pine to East Texas
March 17, 2013 - I would like to buy a Norfolk Pine Tree for my uncle who lives 90 miles east of Dallas, Texas. He saw my Norfolk Pine tree in CA which is 30 to 40 ft. tall. Where can I find a company that will ship...
view the full question and answer

Failure to thrive of newly planted magnolia in Irving TX
November 10, 2009 - I planted four Little Gem Magnolia (Magnolia Grandiflora) in my back yard during first week of October 2009. One of them seem to be dying because its leaves have turned very brown and the leaves are c...
view the full question and answer

Is Viburnum rufidulum monoecious or dioecious?
July 28, 2014 - Is Viburnum rufidulum monoecious or dioecious? Your database does not address this for most plants.
view the full question and answer

Damage to Pine Tree on Cape Cod, MA
June 11, 2013 - My pine tree on Cape Cod has bark that is perforated with holes covering the entire tree. Bark can be removed by hand. Looks dead. What did this?
view the full question and answer

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