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Moving A Mature Shrub

Our experts show you how to move a shrub out of season and give it the best chance of survival.

It is often necessary to move an older shrub and here we show you how to give it the best chance of survival. Both GardenAdvice and its sister company Garden Associates are often asked if it is possible to move semi-mature shrubs. Quite often the shrub will need to be moved at an unsuitable time of year to allow for a building project. In response to these requests we have developed the following key point plan.

If possible the work is best carried out in the early dormant season, ideally in November, but if you take extra care and avoid moving the shrub in very hot weather it is often possible to achieve good results at less suitable times of the year.

With most evergreen shrubs and deciduous shrubs it is a good idea to try and reduce the foliage area by trimming them back. Conifers should be trimmed extensively, remembering that the foliage will not re-grow if you cut back into the brown area inside the foliage. The reason for reducing the foliage is to firstly stop excessive water loss from the leaves and to balance the plant in regards to the root system which you will have reduced in the digging up process. It is important to remember that a plant will always balance itself so that its mass in the ground will equal the mass above ground and if you remove some the roots in the process of digging up, the plant will naturally shed leaves to achieve a natural balance.

The next key is to remove the plant from the soil with as much root as possible. It is important to try to retain as much soil on the roots as possible in a rootball. We often wrap this rootball whilst moving the plant with some plastic or material sheeting to prevent further soil loss whilst moving the plant. The reason for this is to keep the very small roots in contact with the soil in the rootball. It also prevents drying out.

When replanting it is important to make sure that the soil is well firmed around the roots so that the roots are effective in gaining water for the plant. We have found that the best method of making sure that the plant is well settled in is to give it a steady soaking around the roots for about an hour. 5.
Once planted the shrub will need watering every day even if the weather has been fairly wet.

If the shrub has been moved to a windy site it is a good idea to construct a temporary windbreak which will stop the leaves losing excess moisture. Depending on the time of year and the size of the shrub, we have had varying success rates with this project, but we have found that some shrubs, that at first do not seem to have been successfully moved, if pruned back, have later re-grown from shoots near the base.If you require any advice on moving any large shrubs within your own garden, contact our garden advisors service.







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