Transplanting Mature Boxwoods

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by Lnd Svyr, May 28, 2005.

  1. Lnd Svyr

    Lnd Svyr LawnSite Member
    Messages: 33

    My dad wants two mature boxwoods removed from his yard. I'm going to transplant them to my yard so they do not go to waste (hopefully). Each has a total trunk size of about 4" and they are 48" tall. I have always used the method of height in feet times three inches to determine root ball size for digging up. So, 4' x 3" = 12" root ball. That sounds too small, though, and I don't even know if that should apply to shrubs or just trees. I think I had better go with an 18" diameter root ball. So, I have three questions I hope you folks can help with:

    1. Is it OK to transplant these shrubs at this time of year (I have been searching the extension sites but have not found an answer to that yet)?

    2. Any idea what an 18" root ball with shrub is going to weigh?

    3. Should I go with a larger root ball?

    I will keep searching for answers. I am thinking the root ball may be simply the weight of topsoil for that volume and then several pounds for the shrub itself.

    I really want these plants to survive because I intend to take cuttings every year and propagate as many of these expensive plants as possible.

  2. treedoc1

    treedoc1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 319

    1"trunk caliper(diameter)=12"diameter rootball

    a 2/2.5" caliper tree must have a 24" diameter rootball

    Your boxwood at 4' tall probably doesn't have a 4" caliper trunk, but the 4' boxwoods I planted had a rootball the same width as the plant(30") and about 18" thick...more like a pieplate than a normal spaded rootball

    wait until the new growth has hardened off
  3. Lnd Svyr

    Lnd Svyr LawnSite Member
    Messages: 33

    Thanks treedoc1. As far as the weight, I was looking at one of the half whiskey barrels in my yard. They are filled with top/potting soil and I have moved them before. I figured the rootball from the boxwoods would be comparable and I have moved the barrels so I think it should be doable by one man (dad just had quadruple bypass) and a handtruck.
  4. treedoc1

    treedoc1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 319

    Take your time and burlap the rootball to keep it together during transport.
    Good Luck

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