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Transplanting Rhodies

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by BRL, Oct 28, 2002.

  1. BRL

    BRL LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,211

    I have a customer where the fire inspector informed them they have to remove a couple of 6 foot rhododendrons that are blocking the building's built in hydrant connections (not sure what these are called, but its basically that buildings personal hydrant that is built into the wall). Anyway, there is another bed on site that would be perfect for a couple of the rhodies so I had suggested to the customer that we try to transplant 2 to that bed.
    1. Is this the wrong time of year to try this?
    2. Any suggestions to give them a better chance of surviving the move and taking root in their new home? They are healthy & thriving now, so I figure its worth a shot instead of hacking & tossing them.

    Thanks for any replies.
  2. JasperStorm

    JasperStorm LawnSite Member
    from WA
    Messages: 71

    Rhodies tend to have shallow & spreading root systems relative to the height of the plant. You may end up with a "root ball" that is 5' across by 16" deep. As long as you resist the temptation to prune the roots excessively (e.g. to get it to fit in a wheelbarrow) you should have no problem. I dig around the perimeter of the root ball and lever the rhody out of the hole with a digging bar, slide it onto a tarp, and pull it to it's new location.
    Remember to always replant rhodies/azaleas at the same height or slightly higher than they were before, and not pile backfill or new mulch against the base of the plant.

    I have had about 95% survival with rhody transplants, with the only problems coming with ones relocated to hot and dry locations (per customer's demand) in the height of summer.

    SCAPEASAURUSREX LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 835

    Hey Brl , wus up...

    What Jasper said , but use something like ROOTS or a Holly tone product to stimulate the root developement once it's transplanted, I think the dry roots is the one reccomended for the transplants...
  4. AGLA

    AGLA LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,776

    Yes, a very easy transplant - one of the easiest. Root ball will most likely be little more than 12" from top to bottom. It is a good idea to use an anti-dessicant at this time of year (like Wilt-Pruf). Remember that watering in is crucial to late season broadleaf evergreen transplant survival.

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