How to move a de­cid­u­ous shrub

The Daily Telegraph - Gardening - - Readers’ Letters -

You can move even ma­ture shrubs with rel­a­tive ease as soon as they drop their leaves, when the soil is warm and it is still pleas­ant to work out­side.

Make sure the soil is moist around the roots so that you move the shrub with a good root ball – a two-gal­lon can, thrice, slowly, un­der the whole canopy should do it, or an overnight drib­bling hose.

Re­duce the shrub to man­age­able pro­por­tions, cut­ting out any re­ally old wood and pre­serv­ing some of the youngest. Flow­er­ing will be re­duced next year while the shrub puts on new growth.

Get a feel for the size of the roots by in­ves­tiga­tive dig­ging. They may ex­tend as far as the old canopy, but you are bound to sever some dur­ing the op­er­a­tion – don’t worry un­duly.

Pre­pare the new site be­fore you dig up the shrub, in­cor­po­rat­ing com­post and two fist­fuls of bone meal into the pit and the re­moved soil. Fill the pit with wa­ter and wait for it to drain.

Man­han­dle the shrub into its new site, check its po­si­tion and back­fill with the re­moved, im­proved soil. Firm the root area with your boot. Wa­ter well once, ap­ply a com­post mulch over the root area – and wait op­ti­misti­cally for spring.

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