What to do with a healthy, handsome plant that’s just in the wrong place? Move it,
that’s what. You can transplant most small to medium shrubs (up to 4 or 5 feet tall)
and young trees (up to 1½ inches in diameter) without professional assistance. Here’s
To minimize transplant shock, wait until the weather is cool. Be sure the soil is
moist to make it easier to dig and help it hold together better. Trench completely
around the plant to free lateral roots. Dig deep enough (15 to 24 inches) and wide
enough (about the same width as the branches) to encompass the majority of the root
system. Protect the roots from drying out by bundling the root ball in burlap. Next,
use a sharp spade to sever the roots directly under the plant. Tip your plant gently
on its side and burlap the bottom of the root ball.
Now work a wide board underneath the plant and slide it up and out of the hole.
Use the board as a sled to move your plant and ease it into its new location. Remove
the burlap and refer back to “Perfect Planting
” to complete the process
and give your transplant the best chance for success.