Moving Trees and Shrubs
There are times when it is necessary to move an established tree or shrub. Perhaps you are moving house and want to take a favourite tree with you, or you need to move a shrub into a different position. Younger trees and shrubs are generally easier to move than those that are fully mature.
The best time to move deciduous trees and shrubs is while they are dormant, between late October and early March, as soil condition allows. Evergreens are best moved in early spring, just as the soil is warming up. This will allow the tree to begin growing again quickly.
Step 1: Dig a trench around the root area and undercut the roots, to create a large rootball with lots of roots. Severing some roots is unavoidable, but if done carefully, with the creation of a large rootball, the plant will recover quickly when it is replanted.
Step 2: Ensure the rootball is kept damp and replant as soon as possible after lifting. Ideally, dig the new planting hole before the plant is lifted. If this is not possible, wrap the rootball tightly in wet hessian sacking or an old blanket, so it doesn’t dry out.
Small shrubs and saplings can be moved by one person, but larger plants will require at least two people, as rootballs can be heavy. Moving large trees is a job for professionals, requiring use of a tree spade.