Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

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

Sunday - June 01, 2014

From: Battle Ground, WA
Region: Northwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Transplants, Trees
Title: Transplant time for small smoke tree from Battle Ground WA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

When do I transplant a smoke tree that is still young, about a foot high? It is too close to a fence, which I fear will be a problem as it gets big. I live in Battle Ground, WA which is zone 6.

ANSWER:

This USDA Plant Profile Map does not show Cotinus obovatus (American smoke tree) growing natively anywhere close to Washington State. The Plant Profile Map for Psorothamnus spinosus (Smoketree) shows it native only to California, Nevada and Arizona. There are 3 other plants in our Native Plant Database with the word "smoke" in their common names but none are what we would call trees.

The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, home of Mr. Smarty Plants, recommends the growth, propagation and protection of plants native not only to North America but also to the area in which those are being grown; in your case, Clark County, WA on the southwestern corner of Washington State. This is to try to ensure that the soils, rainfall and climate are right for the plant in question.

According to Missouri Botanical Garden, there is also a Cotinus coggygria, in the same genus as Cotinus obovatus (American smoke tree), but native in southern Europe to central China, which means it would not be in our Native Plant Database.

However, although we obviously cannot say if your plant will do well in your location, we can tell you that our recommendation for the planting of woody plants (shrubs and trees) is that it be done in a cool time of the year; probably October or November in your area.

 

From the Image Gallery


American smoke tree
Cotinus obovatus

Smoketree
Psorothamnus spinosus

More Transplants Questions

Blossom fall after rain on Polystachys lutea, Shrimp Lollipop
July 17, 2008 - I live in San Antonio and had previously bought shrimp lollipop plants and after the rain we had recently all the blooms fell off. So my question is did it die or should I just leave it alone?
view the full question and answer

Transplant shock
July 27, 2006 - Today I dug up a new natchez variety crape myrtle that had only been planted about 3 months ago. It is fairly young. It was very difficult to dig up as it's root were pretty settled in the spot it ...
view the full question and answer

Brown leaves on possumhaw holly in Grandview TX
July 02, 2009 - What would be likely causes for brown leaves on possumhaw holly? We have 2, one was planted in spring 2008, and a slightly larger one planted late winter/early spring this year. Most of the leaves a...
view the full question and answer

What soil to plant native plants in Huntsville TX
April 14, 2010 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I recently purchased several plants at the Spring Plant Sale and would like to know when planting them, what type of soil should I use. I typically use partial native soil an...
view the full question and answer

Problems with propagation of Indian Paintbrush (Castileja indivisa)
February 07, 2006 - We are growing Indian Paintbrush. I have 2-300 seedlings. They were sown with fescue and have grown beautifully. Now they are approximately 4-6 inches high, a few have bloomed and many seem to be dy...
view the full question and answer

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