• In this video, This Old House landscape contractor Roger Cook moves plants to a temporary location out of the way of exterior renovations.

    1. Take a pointed shovel and dig straight down just beyond the drip line all the way around the plant.
    2. After cutting the roots around the plant, pull back on shovel to loosen the plant.
    3. Lift up the plant and place it on top of a large burlap sheet.
    4. Tie together the corners of the burlap sheet.
    5. Use a long, thick string to tie the burlap tightly to the root ball.
    6. Dig a shallow hole at the plant’s new, temporary location.
    7. Transport the plant to its new location with a plant dolly.
    8. Drop the plant into the hole and water regularly.
    • Difficulty: Easy to moderate
      Moving the plants isn't that difficult, but digging is tiresome and even small plants are surprisingly heavy
Ask TOH users about Trees & Shrubs

Contribute to This Story Below

      Video Directory

      Selected Topic/Section

      Tools List

      • pointed shovel
        Pointed shovel
      • utility knife
        Utility knife for cutting burlap and string
      • tree dolly
        Plant dolly (can be rented)

      Shopping List

      Burlap and string, for trussing the root ball