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

Saturday - May 11, 2013

From: Dripping Springs, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Planting, Trees
Title: Root ball disintegrating on Arroyo sweetwood from Dripping Springs TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I just purchased a arroyo sweetwood in a 5 gallon container and when I went to put it in the ground the root ball completely fell apart. I put it in the ground and watered it really good. What are its chances of surviving?

ANSWER:

Please see this previous Mr. Smarty Plants answer on Myrospermum sousanum (arroyo sweetwood). Because our Native Plant Database contains information only on plants native to North America, excluding Mexico, we have no information on this plant. We can, however, attempt to answer your question on the bare-root planting of your tree.

The answer to your question depends on several factors about which we know nothing:

1. Was the tree planted before the weather got hot? We usually recommend that woody plants, trees and shrubs, be planted in Texas in cool weather, when the plants are semi-dormant, like November to January.

2. Did you  buy it from a reputable nursery with which you have done business before? To be honest, it doesn't sound like that plant had been rooted in the pot; perhaps a bare-root plant was stuck in the dirt and loose dirt poured over it, shortly before it was sold to you.

3. Did you amend the soil from the hole for the tree with some compost or other organic material to make it easier for the tiny new rootlet to absorb nutrients and water from the soil?

4. Have you been watering it by sticking a hose deep down in the dirt around the hole and letting it dribble until the surface soil was wet, about once a week?

Any of these actions or lack of same can contribute to whether or not the tree survives. Transplant shock is one of the most common causes of loss of trees. You are the only one who can answer the question on whether it will survive. Time will tell.

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Will a non-native smoke tree, Cotinus coggygria, be harmful in Utah
May 08, 2009 - Can one plant a smoke tree in Utah without causing and harm to the environment? I'm worried that this plant may be a species that could cause a problem since I believe it is not a native plant.
view the full question and answer

Native alternative to Japanese grass from Lake Jackson TX
May 16, 2013 - Is there a native alternative to Little Kitten maiden grass? I was asked to comment on a plan and don't want them to introduce another Japanese plant into our local habitat.
view the full question and answer

Red pods on Canna Lilies from Windsor VA
July 21, 2013 - What are the dark red pods on my canna lilies?
view the full question and answer

Eliminating non-native Asian Jasmine in Austin
December 02, 2010 - I have a large bed in front of the house full of jasmine that was planted by the builder 25 years ago. What suggestions do you have to eliminate it and prepare the bed to plant native flowers and pl...
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native Carrotwood tree in Toluca Lake CA
June 25, 2009 - My Carrotwood tree leaves are turning yellow and curling down, Why? Also due to a bad trim, the outer limbs are dying. Can you tell me what is wrong? It is an old tree and I would like to save it!
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