Contact Us Host an Event Volunteer Join

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
2 ratings

Thursday - April 02, 2009

From: Annapolis, MD
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Non-Natives, Transplants
Title: Rotating a non-native cypress in its hole in Annapolis, MD
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have a follow up question to a Cypress transplant question from December 28, 2008. We trimmed our 5 1/2 foot Dwarf Hinoki Cypress back too far, and now the side facing the street has some bare spots that do not look good. Is it safe to dig up the tree and rotate it so that the bare spot is facing the wall, or will I hurt the tree? Please advise.

ANSWER:

Sorry, you really can't treat a living tree like a Christmas tree that you put in a corner so the bare spots don't show. Quoting this Previous answer you referred to: "We can tell you that members of the Cupressaceae family don't take well to transplanting. They have long taproots which, if damaged, can weaken or kill the tree." Even if you are just "rotating" the tree in its original hole, you can hardly avoid damaging that long taproot, and the tree will almost certainly go into transplant shock and probably die. 

As we pointed out in our previous answer, this is not a species native to North America, but to Japan, and therefore out of our range of expertise at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. However, we can tell you that members of the Cupressaceae (cypress) family, native or not, are slow-growing. If you continue to give your tree good care, and prune less vigorously, it will fill in those bare spots and regain its nice shape. Patience is the prescription. 

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Common name of non-native Senna corymbosa (Argentine senna)
July 16, 2011 - I just had a plant identified as Senna corymbosa. Can you tell me whether it's a Texas native and what its common name is? Thanks.
view the full question and answer

Replacing yellow bells with hibiscus from San Antonio
July 03, 2012 - Help! Will the roots of the yellow bells keep sprouting if I've removed the shrub? I'm replacing it with a hibiscus shrub. Will it do well in the same spot where the yellow bells were?
view the full question and answer

Problems with new transplant non-native weeping willow from Washington DC
September 10, 2012 - I replanted a very young BABY weeping willow tree and now it looks as if the leaves are drying up like it is dying. I know that it could also be in shock from the new transplant or it can be dying ...
view the full question and answer

Yellow jackets on non-native crape myrtles
September 25, 2008 - Hey Mr. Smarty Plants I have only 1 question. I have several Crape Myrtles that have numerous amounts (alarming) of yellow jacket bees on them. who what where when why etc? Should I be concerned? tha...
view the full question and answer

Erosion control in Spicewood TX
March 20, 2013 - I am from a small community along the Colorado River a few miles East of Marble Falls. We are looking for a ground cover/grass to prevent erosion on on our beach front. We had planned to use Bermuda G...
view the full question and answer

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