En Español

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

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 Trees Questions

School children planting trees native to Oklahoma and North Texas
December 07, 2009 - Hello, I'll be going into grade school classrooms to teach children how to plant trees. Perhaps they will each plant a seed in a cup to take home to plant in their yard. I may even be able to get see...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting a blue spruce from Pingee Grove IL
August 30, 2012 - Transplant 18" Blue spruce from 5 gal. bucket to ground.
view the full question and answer

Proper watering of cedar elm trees in Sachse, TX
August 15, 2008 - I've just planted two Cedar elm trees in clay soil, each about four inches in diameter, and I want to water them correctly. I'm aware that too much water can be bad as well as too little water. I ...
view the full question and answer

Looking for an evergreen vine to grow on trellis as a privacy screen
July 11, 2015 - Hello, I'm looking for an evergreen vine to grow on a free standing trellis. It is used as a screen on our back porch, so ideally we would not like to use anything that flowers due to the insects ...
view the full question and answer

Need plants to provide a privacy screen in Cedar Creek, TX
March 31, 2015 - We need to screen out neighbor's house. What can we plant (fast growing tree or hedge) in partial shade? Area is dry in summer, but does get soggy during heavy rain. We live east of Austin in Cedar C...
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