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 - September 23, 2010

From: San Antonio, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Propagation, Transplants
Title: Problems with a Hackberry tree in San Antonio.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

Our old hackberry tree fell over last year. Now we have dozens of new ones popping up in the same area. We want to transplant a few to another area of the yard, but they aren't surviving. It appears the plants aren't seedlings, but are attached to the old roots. Q: How can we transplant these little trees successfully, please?

ANSWER:

The obvious first question for me is: "Why did the hackberry fall over?" If the answer is "because it was dead," My second question would be: " How did it die?" What Mr. Smarty Plants is getting at is that he needs to have the "rest of the story".

SInce you are in Bexar County, I'm guessing that your tree is Celtis laevigata (Sugar hackberry). What you are dealing with are suckers growing from the main roots of the fallen tree. If you are trying to transplant these suckers and they are not surviving, the young plants probably don't have enough of a root system to become established in the soil at the new site.  Also, trying to do this in the summer in Central Texas is an exercise in futility. This excerpt from the the NPIN page for Celtis laevigata lets us know it can be done; we just need a better strategy.

Propagation :  Can be rooted from juvenile wood and from root sprouts or suckers.  

The two links I'm going to give you have a very good description of the process, but with different species of plants; the first is red twig-dogwood , and the other is rough leaf dog wood. Even though the plants are different, the underlying biology is the same.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More Transplants Questions

Transplanting native bluebells in Texas
July 02, 2008 - Hello Smarty, Italy TX here again! Your advice on crape myrtles has inspired me to try harder, but now I have a question about a TRUE native wildflower,the Texas Bluebell, growing in my pasture. I ca...
view the full question and answer

Wax myrtle problems from Driftwood TX
September 04, 2010 - We planted 27 wax myrtles on the perimeter of our property last year and were diligent about watering them throughout the drought. They are in very rocky soil (we had to use a jackhammer to dig the ho...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting care of Mayten tree (Maytenus sp.)
November 06, 2007 - I planted a Mayten tree 2 years ago. It's about 8 feet tall. The trunk is about 1-1/2 or 2" in diameter. The earth around it sunk and now there is a "bowl" that fills with water in the rain. I...
view the full question and answer

Blackening of top growth of yaupon in Sunrise Beach TX
June 09, 2010 - My question regards a Will Flemming yaupon which I am thinking may be within your scope of expertise. These were recently planted under windy conditions, then hit with a neighbors antiquated jet type ...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting Mustang Grapes
June 15, 2006 - What is the best way to grow mustang grapes? We have vines established over the property but up too high to continue to harvest and a couple of young vines on the ground that haven't reached the clo...
view the full question and answer

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