advice needed, on bush transplant.

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by Element Property Mgmt, Mar 30, 2013.

  1. Element Property Mgmt

    Element Property Mgmt LawnSite Member
    Posts: 81

    hello, i have a customer who is looking to have 4 healthy burning bushes removed from their property which are about 3-4 feet tall each, and planted 2-3 feet of each other. I also have a customer who i have just done some tree trimming and removal for, this customer has expressed concerns about loss of privacy after i trimmed the trees but there was really no way around losing the privacy.
    i do not have much experience transplanting anything this large, so my question is this.
    Would i be able to pull out these bushes without killing them? if so what would be some options?
    i would hate to kill such beautiful bushes just because this homeowner does not like them, and if i could up sell another customer for a much more beautiful yard i would love that. I don't know how big of a root system these bushes have or how resilient they would be to transplanting.
     
  2. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,080

    3-4 feet tall is not bad at all... the thing to think about is that this is just an experiment and just do the best you can...

    What I do is:
    1.) cut straight down with a round nose shovel or flat spade about 16-20 inches radius from the trunk, ensuring clean thorough cuts of every single inch, and every single root...

    2.) Dig underneath your circle in a downward motion reaching for a point 16-20 inches below the crown of the bush... its OK to remove dirst from under you saucer-shaped root ball to reach the last root under the root ball...

    3.) Carefully lift the rootball out of the hole, retaining as much dirt as possible and place into a pre-prepared hole and wash all the dirt from the edge of the hole onto the root ball, instead of shovelling it back in ,then watering it afterwards...

    At this point you should be done, just be sure that there is standing water over your root balland there are no more air bubbles coming out when you leave... next day check to see how the water drained and then flood the rootball again(unless it is absolute pottery clay)...
    In the heat of summer I flood the first 3 days then occassionally after wards, but if you do it now as soon as the ground thaws , you could almost get by with barerooting it and flooding a couple of times...

    Sidenote:
    It's an absolute ol' wives' tale that you can flood a transplant in 3 days... don't worry about too much water for the first 3 days... if it dies it will be because of dehydration of the cambium in the twigs, NOT suffocation of the roots... we've had standing water in all kinds of lakeside properties in the Spring for days and nothing dies...
    Step #3 is the most imortant... :)
     
  3. Element Property Mgmt

    Element Property Mgmt LawnSite Member
    Posts: 81

    thanks small axe!
    i was hoping i would be able to get away with not digging but I'm alright with a bit of grunt work if two customers are happy when its done.
    i will probably not even have to water at all when its replanted because their whole yard has been flooded for the past week. it's a pita to work in, wet boots suck.
     
  4. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,966

    Are you kidding or what......if you don't get a good root ball it isn't going to work. And just watering them a couple weeks isn't going to keep them alive. This generally doesn't work and then you will be out the labor and you will have to buy plants.
     
  5. Element Property Mgmt

    Element Property Mgmt LawnSite Member
    Posts: 81

    no i wasn't kidding. I was thinking about getting under them with a set of skid forks and ripping them straight up. try not being a jerk.
     
  6. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,080

    A bucket might work in that it will pick up a huge root ball, more than you could pickup by hand... forks would bareroot it the hard way...
    I'd wait for the water to drain and plant in moist soil rather than soggy mud, becuz you can never know what airpockets will be there when the water does drain...

    We've replanted shrubs that were ripped out by a chain around the trunk,,, but not in other peoples' landscape... certain damaged roots will cause certain limbs to die and those shrubs(arbs) looked bad for years,,, but they lived,,, in my yard... I have a nursery type garden that 'rescues' damaged or neglected plants... :)
     
  7. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,966

    Oh I forgot you guys up north don't dig anything out by hand:laugh: Actually that would be by far the fastest way and you can be sure you will get a good root ball....and not tear up the yard in the process.. I still wouldn' move it another customer however never works.
     
  8. windflower

    windflower LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,079

    If the buds haven't opened yet they will survive the move just fine. Don't over do the watering, with no leaves they don't need much water. When they leaf out the leaf size will be influenced by how much water they have available, it's sort of self regulating. When they are dormant they (and almost anything else) can be moved bare root.
     
  9. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,080

    The most common thing that is to be done when bringing dormant, barerooted plants with no leaves, is stick the roots in a pail of water for 24 hours...
    Why is that??? What is happening with the plant that "OVERDOING" the water is a requirement when planting it???
    Water is self-regulating ONLY when it is available... But why so much??? and don't tell me it is for bigger leaves... :)
     
  10. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,080

    The reason that most t-plants fail is from broken/torn roots and air pockets... impossible to overdo the watering in the first 48 - 72 hours...
     

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