In this video, This Old House landscape contractor Roger Cook explains how to transplant a shrub.
Steps for transplanting a shrub
- Estimate the size of the shrub's root ball.
- Mark hole outline onto ground in new location with line-marking spray paint.
- Dig a hole twice as wide as the root ball, and as deep as the root ball is high.
- Use stout string to truss up the shrub's branches.
- Dig a trench all around the base of the shrub with a pointed shovel.
- Use a straight-blade transplanting shovel to dig under root ball of shrub.
- Push the shrub over onto its side.
- Slide a plastic tarp under the root ball.
- Push the shrub upright onto the tarp.
- Drag the shrub over to new hole by pulling on the tarp.
- Measure the height of the root ball.
- Pull a string across hole and measure its depth; it should equal the height of the root ball.
- Set the shrub in the hole, then cut the strings holding the branches.
- Backfill around the shrub with soil mixed with slow-release fertilizer and superphosphate.
- Water thoroughly every day for a week, then every other day throughout the summer.