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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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Monday - December 10, 2012

From: Houston, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Transplants, Trees
Title: Transplanting a bald cypress from Houston
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

We would like to transplant a bald cypress from front yard to back. It is about 10 ft tall, 3" trunk diameter, 2-1/2 years old and in good health. Any idea how large the root ball might need to be dug? Any other tips?

ANSWER:

By following this plant link, Taxodium distichum (Bald cypress), to our webpage on this plant which is native to Harris County, according to this USDA Plant Profile Map, you will learn about its growing conditions, sunlight and water requirements.

We found an excellent website, AllExperts, which had very good instructions for transplantig a bald cypress, including estimating how large a hole should be. We recommend that woody plants, trees and shrubs, be transplanted in the coldest part of the year, when they are dormant and less susceptible to damage. We  believe your tree is young enough and small enough to be successfully transplanted. The main tip we would give you is not to take the tree out of its old hole until the new one is ready for it, with the resident soil mixed with a good compost to assist in access to nutrients in the soil. Second tip (free of charge): after planting, stick a hose down in the soil and let water dribble until it come to the top. Repeat this fairly frequently for several months. This tree is accustomed to growing in frequently-flooded areas and almost can't be overwatered.

 

From the Image Gallery


Bald cypress
Taxodium distichum

Bald cypress
Taxodium distichum

Bald cypress
Taxodium distichum

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