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

Thursday - July 31, 2014

From: Baton Rouge, LA
Region: Southeast
Topic: Transplants, Shrubs, Trees
Title: Transplanting Ilex x attenuata (Savannah holly)
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Is it hard to take a savannah holly out of my front yard? Do the roots grow down deep or are they more shallow? I can only take a 36-40 rootball circumference because of surrounding established shrubs and irrigation system.

ANSWER:

Ilex x attenuata Ashe (Savannah or topal holly) is hybrid of Ilex cassine (Dahoon) and Ilex opaca (American holly) and, as such, doesn't appear in our Native Plant Database; however, since it is a hybrid of two native species the USDA Plants Database does list it as native.

Several sites that I visited says that the roots are fibrous and great in number and relatively small in diameter.  This leads me to believe that it doesn't have a long tap root, but you still need to go deep enough to get a good mass of roots.  Here is information about planting and transplanting from TreesUSA and here is information about transplanting another hybrid holly bush from Donnan.com.  Their very good advice suggests root pruning it in the fall and then moving it in the spring.  Transplanting a shrub or tree in the summer is  very likely to put it into transplant shock and could even kill it.

 

More Transplants Questions

Decline of non-native weeping willow
June 30, 2008 - I live in Breckenridge, Texas and last year I planted a Weeping Willow tree on my property. It grew fine and seemed to be very healthy until this month. All of a sudden it has steadily lost all its ...
view the full question and answer

Holding an Acer rubrum in a container for two years
October 10, 2008 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I am thinking about ordering a Red Maple tree that is cultivated from Mount Vernon. I appreciate the historic nature of such a tree. The tree will be shipped to me and is ...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting Eve's Necklace from Round Mountain TX
April 16, 2013 - We have dozens of small Eve's necklace plants coming up in our large yard. I would like to share them with my friends who aren't so lucky. Many years ago, I tried to transplant one, and it didn't...
view the full question and answer

Poverty plant overgrown in Austin
June 06, 2012 - We have a poverty plant that is too big for its space in our yard. We like it and want to keep it. Can it be transplanted easily? What about pruning it.
view the full question and answer

Dead woody plants in wildlife garden in Austin
March 02, 2011 - I am an enthusiastic and pretty successful wildlife gardener, have studied my Wasowski "Bible", but I can't get any evergreens established in my yard! We live on blackland clay, which I amend with ...
view the full question and answer

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