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 Transplants Questions

Transplanting wildflowers before construction begins
September 23, 2004 - Can wildflowers be transplanted? I'm building a house and wonder what can I save before the builder clears the lot.
view the full question and answer

Possumhaw losing leaves in Liberty Hill, TX.
July 11, 2011 - I have two female possumhaw trees and one of them is losing its leaves. I planted both of them in February and they were doing very well, getting green and full. What's happening?
view the full question and answer

Problems with Texas wild olive tree in Tucson
November 15, 2010 - Planted a Texas Olive tree in Tucson, Az. Some of the leaves are kind of yellow. It gets part sun and part shade and is growing. Is this due to too much water, not enough water or does it need somet...
view the full question and answer

Replanting a blue agave in Rio Rancho NM
January 11, 2010 - I have acquired a Blue Agave, approximately 4-5 ft high. It still appears quite healthy. It was used over the holiday season for display purposes in a liquor store. Unfortunately, the root ball has be...
view the full question and answer

Root rot and transplant shock in Texas betony
July 13, 2006 - Texas betony is supposed to be drought resistant but also likes to be kept moist, but I have had trouble getting it established. These seem to be undemanding plants I have had entire stems dry up and...
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 | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center