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Transplanting Japanese Maple (Georgia)

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by FIRESCOOBY, Dec 4, 2010.


    FIRESCOOBY LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 986

    Got a customer that wants a Jap Maple transplanted. It's about 3-4" in diameter. I've never transplanted one this late, but they want it done either now or in the Spring.

    Which is better?

    I'm in NE Georgia and is in the 40's/20's right now.

  2. Andover Landscape Co.

    Andover Landscape Co. LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Lexington,KY
    Messages: 573

    Now is better than latter but be sure to let them know that Jap's don't like to moved....It's not like moving a ornamental grass or something.. They are very sensitive.... I would amend the soil well, Fertilizer tablet or two, And be sure that the new location is adequate... EX: Soil,light,water,shade that sort of thing....Wow, I just seen the size comment. That's kinda big. I bet it wont like it.. Take as much of the soil as you can possibly take. Like five feet diameter..You might want to trim it back some also. That way it does not have to support a massive amount of foliage next spring...Maybe cover it with a sheet in bad weather..
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2010

    FIRESCOOBY LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 986

    Only moving it about 10'. So within the next 2 weeks would be better than spring?
  4. Andover Landscape Co.

    Andover Landscape Co. LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Lexington,KY
    Messages: 573

    The sooner it's moved the better. It will have more time to develop a root system before summer.. SPRING is not a good time (just my opinion) Same with most trees..
  5. RAlmaroad

    RAlmaroad LawnSite Silver Member
    from SC
    Messages: 2,253

    Everything mentioned is good. A little more advise: Make sure you wrap that rootball and do not disturb the mass. Pick a direction, tag a twig and plant it in the same direction it grew orignally. Also, water it throughly and tamp but not too hard, the soil around those roots. Finally, really mulch that rootball and wrap the trunk from wind. Not matter who says or tell you differently--moving a tree shocks it to some degree. When the buds start to form make sure that you or someone waters it regularly. I've moved these trees that are much larger and never had a problem. Later when the sap starts to move upwards is NOT a good time to move anything. I would tell you to put a handfull of earthworms around the tree in the spring, but that may be carrying things a bit too far. Pruning in the spring will also help a tree that is moved as the roots will not be trying to feed all of the twigs or buds after the roots have been disturbed.
  6. Mudly

    Mudly LawnSite Member
    Messages: 141

    i agree, but not thats its "bad" to prune the tree when you transplant, i would shy away from it. i know the logic makes sense, less to feed. but its just the opposite. as long as the tree is dormant spade the entire width of the canopy (if possible). This task is the hardest part getting as much of the rootball as possible. prune hair roots and dammaged roots prior to replanting, not the canopy (unless some of it is dead). make sure the cuts to the roots are clean and not just spaded. reason being, the tree will grow the foilage before it grows roots (after a pruning). prune the roots you get more roots, prune the foilage more foilage. the root ball of a tree is usualy proportional to the canopy keep that in mind when digging. after the tree has restablished its self then you can prune it. Your not going to kill the tree if you prune the cannopy during the transplant, but it will put it through incredible stress growing new foilage with less roots.

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