How to Transplant Trees and Shrubs

Did you change your mind?  Have your plants grown too big or you simply want to change things around? Winter is a great time to transplant many trees and shrubs, especially deciduous plants, which drop their leaves now.  In fact, that’s why so many trees are transported bare rooted in tinter. It’s also a good time to transplant some evergreens, like camellias and conifers, which are dormant now too.  For tropical plants, and most evergreens, spring and autumn are better times to be moving things about, usually straight after flowering.  Tree ferns (Dicksonias) and palms are usually easily transplanted, but remove any excess fronds.

Ten tips to successful transplanting

  1. Always dig as large a hole as you can, at the drip line of the plant you’re moving if possible
  2. You can carefully wash away some of the excess soil to help lighten the load, but retain as much as possible
  3. Clean cut the any damage roots with secateurs
  4. Have the hole you’re moving your plant to pre-prepared, and dig in some compost to the new spot
  5. Orientate plants in the same direction if possible
  6. Make sure the soil level is the same height up the stem and that your shrubs are not buried too deep or proud
  7. Lightly trim off any new, soft growth, which will be prone to wilting
  8. Apply Drought Shield to the remaining foliage to reduce transplant shock
  9. Use a seaweed solution like Maxicrop or Seasol to gently encourage root growth
  10. Keep your plants well-watered while they acclimatise


By: Meredith Kirton