Yucca Moving

About to leave my place, the phone rang – “the big yuccas are arriving!” Having other things to do, working out on my mountain bike and then work, I chose to first watch how those with access to heavy equipment get it done.

So, a bike detour through UTEP it is.

It was only 2 yuccas, but the larger was first planted at a nursery owner’s home 40 years ago. I only had my cell phone camera, but my other is a mere hand-held!

1. Beaked Yucca or Zoyate / Yucca rostrata

Though I often see landscape workers move large yuccas by hand, no need for that when you’re the 2nd largest campus in the UT system…

2 heads and a huge yucca = another transplant method
UTEP garden curator Juan Blanco (formerly John White, but others saw his name could sound more local) – he makes sense of how to get this serious job done with his NMSU / native Las Cruces ingenuity
Heavy equipment plus human power at various angles are not enough – right before El Jefe yelled at me to help! (El Jefe = Wynn Anderson, retired UTEP suit and former garden curator, always the bossman)
After backfilling, the plant gets watered in for it’s new life among academia. You can really see the tiered growth of the foliage on this one.


2. Palm or Faxon Yucca / Yucca faxoniana

Many this size are moved in New Mexico by hand, but when you have the equipment, this is a better way…those high fallutin’ smart Texans
This small root ball has enough live root mass to re-establish this yucca…and yes, it actually rained most of that morning…rain!
Easier to set with one head and a smaller size, even if its foliage commands more respect than even El Jefe…
Before backfilling the hole, then my being “asked” to build and firm-up the berm to hold in water – always glad to save we Texas folks some taxpayer money, and get some dirt under my delicate, designer fingernails (!!)
More of that all-important water, as Señor Blanco looks at yet another plant for him to curate (I had to fit that most hip c-word in)


All finished and set to grow in their new home!

Not sure there’s any design to where they are placed, but they are there and happy. You may have noticed the Bhutanese motif on UTEP’s architecture – more on that another time

UTEP has their centennial celebration next year, but this spot is now mostly ready for important events and dignitaries. Including that aficionado of plant danger herself, as her periodic NM trip takes her not too far north. I mentioned a great beer taproom nearby for her guy Andy, to help seal the deal. We’ll see!

5 Replies to “Yucca Moving”

  1. That IS an amazingly small root ball. It’s impressive that it can grow from that small amount of root.

    Agreed, same with palms…the importance is the “live” root!


  2. Well that was neat. Thanks for the story.

    It was a nice break, but will avoid the place when I have to get work done…they put me to work for free…


  3. Awesome pix! Love your new blog and new look, David! Adding it to my blog roll..

    Thanks, PK. I might be getting this droid phone cam after all?


  4. That is amazing! Can I get a few???? ;) Sign me up! How much do you think one that size costs???????? A bizillion and one buckeroos?

    We’ll never know the cost, but I bet it was pricey, not to mention the delivery!”


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