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How risky is this?

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Woodland, Sep 17, 2010.

  1. Woodland

    Woodland LawnSite Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 207

    I have a retaining wall installation project coming up in a couple of weeks. There is currently a stone and mortar wall that needs to come out and be replaced. In order to do this I need to remove a large burning bush (euonymous alata) that the homeowner would like to keep and put back. I know these shrubs are very tough. We regularly cut them back to within a couple of feet of the ground (sometimes more) and they come back strong. I also know they have extensive root systems and thus transplant quite well. The question is, can I cut one back very heavily AND transplant it at the same time AND do it this late in the season??? I have already explained to the customer that there are risks to transplanting this shrub and they understand, but is it even worth spending the time (and thus, their money) attempting? It might also be noteworthy that in my neck of the woods, it is becoming harder and harder to find these shrubs at nurseries since they have been labeled as invasive by many. Larger ones are even harder to find.
  2. 4 seasons lawn&land

    4 seasons lawn&land LawnSite Gold Member
    from NY
    Messages: 3,614

    fall- best time of yr to plant. u cant kill a burning bush. Keep a root ball around it.
  3. procut

    procut LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,852

    I bet it will live. Just make sure it gets watered in good.
  4. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,776

    I don't know.

    From my experience burning bushes are tough to get out of the ground effectively. Might be kind of hard to do and keep a good root ball.

    Would a tree spade for a skid steer work in getting it out, or is there no room?
  5. Woodland

    Woodland LawnSite Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 207

    Definitely no room for a tree spade. In fact I'm not really sure about getting a tractor in their. I think we will cut it back a moderate amount since it will be going dormant soon anyway. The leaves had changed already and will start dropping soon. Dig by hand, being careful to get a decent root ball that will hopefully be small enough to get out without machine assistance. The soil is a good loam so it should hold together pretty well. Its a pretty old/large bush so hopefully it has some resiliency bred into it. Worst case, it dies and we replace it with something "nicer". I just need to make sure the client knows the risks and is willing to pay extra if we have to replace it.
  6. BostonBull

    BostonBull LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 520

    I would cut as minimal as possible. You want as much foliage left on for photosynthesis as possible. You will be losing a lot of root mass with that method of transplant.

    Best option is to use an airtool of some sort, either Airspade or Supersonic Airknife. Blow the soil off, and transplant the ENTIRE root system, I bet the plant with entire root ball weighs under 50lbs. Put it in the new hole just as you would any other bare root plant.

    Bareroot planting/transplanting is the best method.

    Check out what Matt Foti and his team are doing...... http://www.fotitree.com/landscapeservices/bare_root_transplant.htm

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