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Transplanting Arbor Vitae?

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by snow4me, Apr 19, 2013.

  1. snow4me

    snow4me LawnSite Member
    Male, from Barrington IL
    Messages: 119

    I have a customer asking me to dig up and move two Arbor Vitae and plant them about 20 feet away. I have transplanted small evergreens and bushes before but never something this large.

    From my experience evergreen roots run shallow and spread way out from the bush. There is a patio about 2 feet from these arbor vitae so I'm concerned about roots going under the patio.

    If you have experience with transplanting these please share your experience and any tips for ensuring the plants survive.:drinkup:

  2. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Use a sharp spade to cut the roots straight down... Use a round nose shovel to dig your way under the root ball with your outside starting point being the bottom edge of your spade cut... go for the 18" - 24" depth at the center...

    Ideally,,, you have a dish shaped rootball 8" thick at the outside edge, widenning toward the center and ending up at the 24" mark...
    Realistically,,, you are going to have a lot of bare roots and perhaps all bare roots when you get it out... but I agree, that you'll need the widest aera of surface roots that you can get, which is going to be difficult, considering how they are clumped so close together...

    Good time of year for bareroot transplants, so do get too worked up... How large are they in reality??? and which one stays???

    Your biggest challenge will be preparing the hole at destination and correctly watering them in...
  3. snow4me

    snow4me LawnSite Member
    Male, from Barrington IL
    Messages: 119

    Thanks for the reply...they are 8-9 foot tall and we are removing the two on the end.
  4. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    That is large... you going to do some pruning???
  5. snow4me

    snow4me LawnSite Member
    Male, from Barrington IL
    Messages: 119

    Customer didn't ask for pruning. Why do you ask?
  6. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    If the arbor vitae transplant goes worse than one might like,,, may may want to prune back the foliage to balance the weakness in the roots...
    Don't be afraid to really soak those transplants for the first week of so after planting,,, remember, they are low wetland plants that may spend half the Springtime under water...
  7. snow4me

    snow4me LawnSite Member
    Male, from Barrington IL
    Messages: 119

    Ok will keep that in mind and make sure customer waters frequently. :drinkup:
  8. Darryl G

    Darryl G Inactive
    Messages: 9,500

    Make sure your holes are ready before you dig them up. You don't want the roots to dry out at all before moving them to their new home. Those are a bit big to transplant in my opinion...young and small transplants will have a much higher success rate. I'm not saying it can't be done.

    How are you going to move them...they're going to be heavy. Also, you might want to consider putting down a soaker hose on a timer after they're transplanted.
  9. Patriot Services

    Patriot Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,360

    Soaker hose or drip bags. I would also think about some stakes and guy lines for a couple months.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  10. Stillwater

    Stillwater LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,889

    Those 10 foot arbs properly dug up and balled for transport will weigh between 3 and 500 pounds prepare for that with 3 men and a proper tree carrier or 2 men and a dingo with forks. I personally use a gas powered tool called a Dyna-Digger I have 3 of them I can have those arbs out of the ground with crisp tight properly sized balls in about an hr. and the arbs would not even know they were dug up.

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