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Any tree or shrub will suffer some degree of stress when uprooted. The shock of transplanting or moving can be lessened if the task is carried out correctly.
Moving a large Phormium. Image: Stephen Record/RHS
Established trees and shrubs should be only moved if necessary as even with the best care the tree or shrub may fail to thrive or even die. Renovation may be an alternative.
Plants resenting root disturbance such as Rosa, Magnolia, Cytisus and Cistus can be tricky to move.
Young plants transplant fairly well, but more established specimens will suffer greater stress and require advanced preparation. As a rule-of-thumb, plants that have been growing in position for more than five years are much less likely to survive transplanting than younger specimens.
Consider using a specialist contractor to move mature plants or a large number of trees.
The optimum time to move established trees or shrubs depends on their type;
Choose a calm, dull day to help prevent roots from drying out.
If possible prepare mature specimens a year in advance as follows:
If replanting cannot take place immediately, pack the rootball with organic matter and wrap it in sacking, before placing it in a cool, shaded spot. Keep the plant well watered.
Moving a tree or shrub is very stressful for the plant, so for the year after moving take particular care of the following:
Too much or too little water may hinder re-establishment as will the loss of too many roots during transplanting or planting too deeply.
Arboricultural AssociationHedges: renovationShrubs: pruning early-floweringShrubs: pruning evergreensShrubs: pruning summer-floweringShrubs: renovationTrees and shrubs: plantingTrees: pruningTrees: reducing their size safely
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