transplanting an old Rhododendron

Old 05-20-19, 12:36 AM
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transplanting an old Rhododendron


i have a very old Rhododendron next to my house, its at least 20 years old and about 10' tall. i am doing work on my foundation and the tree will have to be removed or relocated.
relocation will be attempted but i dont know how successful the transplant will be considering its so old and already blooming for the season.

any advice or thoughts will be appreciated.
Old 05-20-19, 06:55 AM
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This time of year it's risky but worth a try. Several days before moving it give the plant a thorough, deep watering. Then heavily prune the shrub. All that top growth is going to get in the way anyhow when you try to dig it out. Then dig it up leaving the biggest root ball possible. After you get it dug you'll have to judge if you have too much top growth for the remaining roots to support so you might have to prune the top some more. Then plant it and for the first two weeks water it every other day. Then if the plant appears to be doing OK you can slowly back off on the watering but it will still need regular watering through the full summer season.
Old 05-22-19, 09:14 AM
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After the deep watering and before any pruning.....take a sharp (file it down) square shovel or spade and make a complete circle around the rhodie and cut the outlying roots. Leave untouched for as long as you can and then dig it out.

Can't advise how far out from trunk you should go before cutting the roots. Try 4 feet and see if you find roots. No...try 3 feet. Stop frequently and see what shows up. Use LOTS of real forest duff/compost when replanting. Might even plant higher in a big mound and circle it with bender board.

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