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

Wednesday - July 31, 2013

From: Uvalde, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Transplants, Problem Plants, Trees
Title: Should a tree near a water well be transplanted?
Answered by: Guy Thompson

QUESTION:

I have a water well and have about a 6 yr live oak planted in close proximity to it( about 10 feet). Would it be wise enough to transplant the tree while its this young or leave it alone. Also I need some tips on how to water it since I have had conflicting reports. Some sites say do water it some say don't.

ANSWER:

The roots of a tree cover a space underground similar to the area covered by the crown of the tree.  Visualizing how your tree will look 10 or 20 years from now will suggest, I think, that the roots will be near the water well.  If these would just be small feeder roots there might not be a significant problem.  But if there is any leakage of water from the well area the tree roots will grow much more strongly in the direction of the well.  I do not know what kind of well you have and what the chances are that occasional leakages of water will occur in the future.  If there is any chance  the tree will sense that moisture is preferentially available at the well site you will be well advised to move the tree now, when it is relatively easy.

The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center published a guide to tree planting.  Also, you can find many Internet web sites on tree transplanting, including this one.  It would be best to wait until winter when it is cooler and the chance of stress are reduced.  Try to avoid cutting the tree roots as you dig, making a circle around the tree at the drip line and digging deep enough to get under the root ball.   The soil around the transplanted tree should be kept moist for at least several months.  If you follow these guidelines there should be no trouble moving your young tree.

 

From the Image Gallery


Escarpment live oak
Quercus fusiformis

More Problem Plants Questions

Eliminating unwanted vine on arbor in San Francisco
November 20, 2012 - There is a vine growing on our arbor, it has sickle-shaped pods and is crushing the arbor, how do we get rid of it?
view the full question and answer

Problem with weeds in the buffalograss
June 11, 2008 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I'm about to throw in the towel! My back 'lawn' of buffalo grass (609) is almost all 'weeds'! Native ruellia and lyre leaf sage have taken over and as the area has gott...
view the full question and answer

Eliminating non-native invasive Asian jasmine in Temple TX
February 06, 2010 - Hello, behind my backyard fence there is a large growth (about 300 to 400 sq feet) of Asian jasmine. It was planted by previous owners. It prevents growth of native plants like holly. What is the prac...
view the full question and answer

Removal of thistles from Columbus TX
May 20, 2014 - I am sorry if you have an answer in FAQs but I could not find it. We recently cleared property near Columbus Texas of many cedars (ash junipers). This spring we experienced a profusion of thistle -...
view the full question and answer

Replacing non-native St. Augustine with native grasses in Rockport TX
February 18, 2009 - Mr. Smarty Plants, I have a few questions for you. I live in Rockport and am in the process of revamping my yard to native species. I currently have San Augustine, weed infested grass. I want to scrap...
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