Oak tree sprout transport? Southern CA

August 13, 2019
last modified: August 13, 2019

I apologize this post isn’t a Name that Plant question but with all the experts here I thought I’d ask.

I have an Oak tree sprout growing close to a fence and I wanted to get some feedback on moving it to a different spot. I thought maybe I would soak the soil around the plant really well then shovel plant without disturbing or cracking the soil by the seedling. I am trying to keep this plant. Is there a better alternative?

Comments (11)

  • Smivies (Ontario - 5b)

    Pretty certain that is not an oak at all. Not familiar enough with your botanical diversity in Southern California to identify what it is though.

    Moisten the ground and use a round nose spade to dig up an ~8" diameter, ~10" deep cone shaped rootball. There is a chance that whatever it is has put down a substantial tap root or is a root sucker off a neighbouring plant. If that's the case, your chance of success using the method above will be much lower (but not zero).

    HU-104950458 thanked Smivies (Ontario - 5b)
  • HU-104950458

    Ok, thank you Smivies (Ontario - 5b) for the advice. I will try this method. It is definitely not a root sucker. Also, do you think I should wait till fall? There isn't any excessive heat in SoCal right now but it is pretty warm outside.

  • floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

    I agree it doesn't look like an oak. I'd say Hibiscus syriacus if forced to give it a name.

    You can always id an oak, whatever the leaves look like, by the simple process of gently digging down a bit with fingers or a tablefork. If it's an oak you'll find an acorn.

    HU-104950458 thanked floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK
  • gyr_falcon

    Especially if this is in the coastal areas of SoCal, I would not lean towards H. syriacus. They can be grown here, and I know of a few in the neighborhood, but deciduous shrubs are a bit of a hard sell to homeowners here since there are so many evergreen, long blooming, shrubs to choose instead.

    It sort of resembles the sycamore seedlings I have to pull up once in a while, but I don't tend to study the weeds and unwanted ones on the maintenance yank list that closely. The OP plant's leaves might not have much of the adult form at that stage, and nothing else is coming to mind at the moment.

    HU-104950458 thanked gyr_falcon
  • ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

    i sure have no CA experience.. but my general rule.. is not to move things in august.. maybe its different in CA ... the best time.. in general;. is when night temps fall.. so the transplant has a cooler recovery period at night.. to get over whatever the day threw at them ... if you can shade it in the new spot for a week or 2.. it wouldnt hurt.. since its so small ... just a patio chair or something would be good enough ...

    when you do the deed ... take the shovel... dig a one shovel full hole in the new location .... then go get the plant.. one shovel full .. and move it.. it never hurts to water in advance.. and after.. to settle the soil ...

    if you anticipate any resistance in the ground ... like tree roots ... sharpen your shovel first .....

    it looks like its growing in an ash pile ... is that just a camera trick??


    HU-104950458 thanked ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5
  • floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

    If you tear a leaf slightly do you see a bead of white sap? I'm wondering about a fig???

    HU-104950458 thanked floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK
  • Embothrium

    I think it's Ficus carica also.

    HU-104950458 thanked Embothrium
  • HU-104950458

    gyr_falcon I live in coastal southern california, Ventura County. Near the plant is a Coral tree, an oak tree, a Sycamore tree, a Mulberry type tree, a Bougainvillea plant, and tons of Elm tree sprouts. floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK I used to have a large round Hibiscus syriacus tree w/ red flowers but the plant died 10 years ago. I was saying Oak because there are tons of Oak trees in the area and the neighboring city is called Thousand Oaks,lol. Embothrium Down the street there was a very large Ficus carica fig tree but it was cut down a few years ago. I will cut the plant leave and post it later today.

  • HU-104950458

    floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK I cut a leaf and it did bleed a white sap liquid.

    I guess this means its a Fig tree? The huge fig tree that was cut down close by is growing new branches from the cut trunk.

  • Embothrium

    Look at the main part of the stem, the petioles and the tip of the stem in your second shot - it is a fig tree.

    HU-104950458 thanked Embothrium
  • HU-104950458

    Embothrium Yes, definitely a Fig. I would have never known. I was really hoping for an Oak but whatevs. Thanks for clarifying!

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