Moving Boxwoods

Old 05-16-04, 02:57 AM
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Moving Boxwoods

I have 4 boxwood bushes that my father planted 25 years ago after moving them from my grandfathers house 400 miles away. I would like to move them to the side of the yard and redo the front landscape of my house.

Is this a safe time of year to move a mature boxwood? They are full grown bushes. The trunks are 2-3" in diameter. And all are at least 3' wide and 4' tall. How large of a hole do I need for this size move? How large should the root ball be? And what amendments should I use to help them out. I thought about waiting till winter, but if it's safe I'll do it in a few weeks. I'm in southern Tennessee.
Old 05-16-04, 07:51 AM
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Location: Taylors, SC
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In my opinion, you can move anything if you can move the rootball. From a practical perspective, I would move them in winter. My approach to this would be to trench around the plant so as to make the root ball more manageable. Dig a trench 4 inches wide around the plant at the point where you want the root ball to be. Then fill the trench with peat moss or rotted compost or leaf mold. This will encourage the development of feeder roots.

Feed the plant with a complete, long lasting food and keep it watered until winter reduces the need. Once the plant is as dormant as it will get, move it.

Look at this thread on the topic of moving large plants. It covers it well from the perspective of caring for the plants after moving. Nothing at all wrong with it, I just prefer to make the plant more ready for moving beforehand.

Trenching makes a more predictable rootball for digging while encouraging the development of feeder roots before the move. The feeder roots are the key to survival of the plant. Moving plants is hard on them, especially older plants. Moving them in the winter means that there are fewer plants need a lot of care at that time of the year. Cold weather makes for less stress on the plant.

If you could remove the entire root ball, you could move them easily. I removed some 40 year old boxwoods here and found the rootball to be quite fragile and difficult to cut without damaging large sections of it. The complete rootball may be as large as the top of the plant. Consider how slowly a boxwood grows.

Hope this helps.

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