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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Wednesday - March 28, 2007

From: Pflugerville, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Propagation, Transplants
Title: Transplanting roughleaf dogwood in Pflugerville, TX
Answered by: Nan Hampton and Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

Hello. My rougleaf dogwood is suckering enthusiastically, and rather than mow off all the root suckers, I'd like to transplant a couple of them to the stream bank in the greenbelt behind my house. My tentative plan is to dig around the sucker to sever it from the parent, drench the soil with a root stimulator, wait a couple of weeks, and then move it. Is this doable or is it an exercise in futility? If it can be done, should I wait until fall?

ANSWER:

Your plan is basically sound; however, Mr. Smarty Plants has this recommendation—pre-dig the root ball now. Take a sharpshooter shovel and pre-dig (root-prune) all the way around the sucker in a circle about the size of the root ball you wish to dig (the bigger, the better). Water with root stimulator and transplant the dogwood in December. Pre-digging (root-pruning) the dogwood now will allow it a full growing season to develop its own roots within the perimeter of the pre-defined root ball and will greatly improve your chances of success.

 

From the Image Gallery


Roughleaf dogwood
Cornus drummondii

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