Moving Mature Rhododendron.
How can I move a mature rhododendron in my garden I have one that’s 6 years old we are building an extension to my house and need to move it if possible.
Autumn is the best time to move a rhododendron when the soil is still warm, but the plant isn’t in full active growth. The second best time is in early spring as the soil starts to warm up again.
Rhododendron are not too hard to move, as they have very fibrous roots which grow near the surface of the soil. This is because naturally, Rhododendrons produce fibrous roots every year on top of the previous year’s roots. To move the Rhododendron, begin by marking a circle around the shrub, as wide as the canopy of the plant. Dig a trench along the line of this circle. Use a fork to loosen the soil around the root ball as you go to reduce its size and weight so that it becomes manageable.
When the root ball looks about the right size, so that you can still move it, but there are still a lot of roots intact, begin to undercut the root ball with a sharp spade or loppers to sever the biggest woody roots. wrap up the root ball in sacking or plastic to protect the roots from damage and drying out. Move the shrub to the final position. It is important to have the site ready so that you can transplant the shrub at once and it isn’t left for hours (or worse!) to dry out. Remove the sacking and plant the shrub in the new hole, at the depth at which it was previously planted. Firm well, water well and mulch with a good thick layer of well-rotted farmyard manure or garden leaf compost.
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