Here are some tips for these projects brought to you by TheSpruce.com.
Best Time to Transplant
When should you do your transplanting? For most trees and strubs, late winter or early spring are the best times for transplanting; fall would be the second best time. In summer, it is not advisable (too hot). In the dead of winter, it is almost impossible (in the North) — unless you have done all of your digging ahead of time (before the ground freezes).
How to Transplant Trees and Shrubs: Step-by-Step Instructions
- Keep in mind the maxim, “Location, location, location.” Prior to transplanting, determine whether the tree or shrub likes sun or shade, and what its spacing and watering requirements are. For instance, do not locate a plant that craves water next to one that prefers dry conditions: Their needs will be incompatible. And to be safe, always make use of the Call Before You Dig number.
- Dig the new hole before you dig up the tree or shrub. Once you dig up the plant, the longer its roots go without a home, the lower your chances for successful transplanting will be.
- Measure or estimate the width and depth of the root-ball (by doing a bit of exploratory digging around the plant). The width of the new hole should be twice that of the root-ball. The depth should be kept a bit shallower, to avoid puddling and consequent rotting (especially if your soil has a lot of clay in it).
- Mound up the soil in a ring around the newly transplanted tree or shrub, forming a berm that will catch water like a basin. This will help you achieve your main objective from here on out — keeping the new transplant’s roots well-watered, until it becomes established
- Spread a 3-inch layer of landscape mulch around the new transplant. But keep it a few inches away from the base of the tree or shrub, to promote air circulation and so as not to invite rodents from nibbling on the trunk. Rodents become emboldened by the cover that the mulch provides.
- Then water, water, water. The first summer will be a difficult one for the plant to weather, unless it gets plenty of water. Watering is as essential as anything to success in shrub and tree transplanting.
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