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
Not Yet Rated

Wednesday - August 29, 2012

From: Boerne, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Transplants, Trees
Title: Transplanting a redbud in Boerne TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Hi there, My question is when is it safe to transplant a native tree? I have a redbud tree come up in m flower bed I want to try to transplant it instead of cutting it out. It is very young - maybe 4-6 months of growth. Less than 1/8" in diamater and about 2.5' tall.I live in the Hill Country North of Boerne, TX - it is still hot here.

ANSWER:

We are so glad you asked. It's depressing to answer all the questions from people with dead or dying new trees who planted them in the hot summer months. They have committed transplant shock, and not that many trees ever recover from it. We strongly recommend that you wait until November to January in Central Texas to plant any woody plant. In fact, we wouldn't recommend planting anything this time of year. You shouldn't be out there in the sun and neither should a new plant.

First, check out our Step-by-Step Guide Transplanting a Tree. The only thing we would add to these excellent instructions is that, having removed the dirt from the new hole, mix some good aged compost in the dirt, maybe about half and half, before you return it to the hole  around your tree roots. And definitely follow the instructions to put some good quality shredded bark mulch over the roots, but not touching the trunk. As time goes by, that mulch will protect the roots from heat or cold and, as it decomposes, will continue to help with the drainage in the hole.

While you are indoors, waiting for cool weather, follow this link to our webpage on Cercis canadensis var. texensis (Texas redbud), where you can learn what amount of sunlight it needs, soils and moisture, to give your plant a good start in life.

 

More Trees Questions

Injury from non-native Canary Palm from Torrance CA
October 18, 2013 - I got stuck in the eye a yr ago by a Phoenix canariensis. It went through my retina and through the integral chamber and put a stamp on my lense. There was no room for any more err without causing bli...
view the full question and answer

Mexican sycamore for Briarcliff, TX
August 11, 2009 - I would like to plant a sycamore in my yard. I have searched and do not see info on the Mexican sycamore on this website. Is this not recommended in Central Texas for planting? I cannot find the Am...
view the full question and answer

Does Helasia diptera absorb toxic substances from Dover Plains NY
March 09, 2012 - Dear Mr. Plants, Halesia carolina is described as absorbing toxic substances: herbicides, pesticides and pollutants from water, air and soil. Does Halesia diptera do the same? Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Sap oozing from non-native Chinese pistache in San Antonio
September 07, 2011 - I live in San Antonio, and my chinese pistache is exuding copious amounts of a sticky sap from old trim sites and from the trunk itself. The tree is about 12 years old and has been healthy up until no...
view the full question and answer

Oak leaf hydrangeas from Edwardsville IL
August 13, 2012 - Hello, I live in West Central Illinois (across the river from St. Louis) and I am considering planting several Oak leaf Hydrangea's in my yard. The location where I would like to plant them is und...
view the full question and answer

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