Thank you for the information. I had not thought about having my river birch transplanted. I think I will do that. It’s probably 8 feet already. I guess there is some luck involved in keeping the tree alive after transplant. I don’t wish to transplant the spirea. The space they will be removed from is a circle about 10 feet in diameter at the cornor of the front of my house, which gets the afternoon sun. Sun-loving perennials probably would be best. I have liriope on the decline in front of my house with a weeping Japanese maple in front of the entrance to my house.
The Gardener’s Answer
Hi, Marie: Transplanting a large tree can be successful, but here are some tips to make sure that the stress is reduced during the process. Digging the new home for your tree before digging up the existing tree is a good idea. That way the tree roots are not likely to dry out before they get back into the soil. When you dig up the tree, use a very sharp spade and start digging farther out and work your way in to keep as many of the roots attached as possible. This is key to a successful transplant. Ideally, the new hole should be twice as wide and just as deep as the existing one; after you have the tree out you may need to adjust the size of the hole. Replant and treat just as you would any other new addition to the garden. Do not fertilize for the first year and keep the soil consistently moist. As for the sun-loving perennials you would like to plant, there are many to choose from, but I would recommend taking a trip to your local garden center/nursery and see what catches your eye. I previously mentioned baptisia, Russian sage, and amsonia, but caryopteris, coreopsis, phlox, Veronica, and salvia are all good choices as well. As for your liriope, are you cutting it back once a year? This groundcover does not usually have too many problems but it will benefit from being divided every three to four years.