How to - Techniques

Move a large shrub in 10 easy steps

By
Judith Adam and Beckie Fox
Photography by
Bert Klassen (inset photos)

Relocate large, woody plants in autumn (after leaves drop) or early spring (before leaf buds sprout)


Step 7
Cinch in burlap skirt at bottom of root ball with twine. Tie, using slipknot. Tightly wrap entire root ball, both vertically and horizontally weaving twine in and out of rows, pulling tight.

moving-shrubs-step8.jpg
Step 8

With a sharp spade, gently cut root ball from pedestal of soil and let shrub lean on one side of hole; take two opposite corners of burlap skirt and tie them together across bottom. Rock shrub to opposite side of hole and tie remaining two corners. To easily lift shrub out of hole, replace several centimetres of excavated soil under one side of root ball and tip it onto this slightly higher surface. Then put several centimetres of soil under opposite side and rock back onto that. Repeat until whole root ball is at grade level.

Step 9
Drag wrapped shrub to prepared planting hole. Unwrap and carefully lift or slide it into hole, setting it down gently.

Step 10
Once shrub is properly positioned, hold in place and quickly pack soil around root ball. Shovel in remaining soil, firming it all around with hands, not feet. Make slight saucer shape with backfilled soil to prevent runoff. Water thoroughly, using transplant solution if moved in spring, but not if relocated in autumn. Add a seven- to eight-centimetre layer of organic mulch.

 

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