Rent Shop 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
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - July 02, 2009

From: Heath, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Planting, Transplants, Watering, Trees
Title: How to care for newly transplanted Live Oak.
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

I planted 3 B & B, 6" caliper live oaks in February and they lost most of their leaves during the normal time but when the new leaves grew back the amount of leaves were quite a bit less. I have three questions: Is that normal for a newly planted dug tree? I am now having quite a few leaves turn yellow, what is the possible cause? The tree farm is recommending me to water these trees 2 times a week with either 50 gallons in a tree gator or a water hose for 70 minutes at a 1/2 inch rate 2 times a week, is that too much water?

ANSWER:

A six-inch caliper tree is a big one to transplant and difficult to do successfully.

It is fortunate that your tree is a Live Oak since it did change it's leaves just after you transplanted it.  Here's why.  The tree produced only as many leaves as its roots could support with water and nutrients.  As spring wore on into summer and the weather has become hotter and drier, your tree is now shedding some of those leaves in order to protect the whole tree.  So yes, it is normal for your tree to behave the way it has.

The watering recommendation from the tree farm sounds reasonable through the summer.  When the weather cools, or when rain occurs, you'll want to cut back on watering.  However, winter is very hard on trees, too, so don't stop watering completely then.  Just don't give it as much as you are now.

 

More Trees Questions

Space between trees from Blythewood SC
April 05, 2013 - I'm planting 4 green giants in a back corner of my yard. I also have a kumquat tree to plant. I have somewhat limited space. What is the minimum spacing between the four green giants and the green gi...
view the full question and answer

Seed germination for sugar maple (Acer saccharum)
December 15, 2007 - How can I germinate sugar maple?(step by step, please) I have some seeds but can't make them grow directly outside, so could you recommend a method which takes place inside?! I've heard something ab...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants on arborvitaes
March 28, 2005 - Hello, I live in Allentown, PA and have a 7-foot arborvitae shrub in my backyard, planted in the corner of the yard where a wood fence intersects with the brick wall of the garage. I have had ma...
view the full question and answer

Live oak sprouts in Austin
August 01, 2010 - How can I control the hundreds of live oak sprouts our lovely trees are throwing off? We recently landscaped with rain gardens and the related drainage ditches; they are filled with these very happy ...
view the full question and answer

Controlling Tree Roots in Sewer Lines
July 16, 2014 - We had a leak with our underground pipes near the meter box - the pipes are at least a foot or more underground. My plumber poured table salt on the pipes to deter roots from a nearby tree from gettin...
view the full question and answer

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