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When Is Best Time To Transplant Roses, Shrubs, And Trees?

Lynne Asked

When is best time to transplant roses, shrubs, and trees?

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The Gardener’s Answer

Hi Lynne: In general, spring and fall are the best times to transplant, mainly because of the air and soil temperatures. Depending on the bloom times of what you are transplanting you may choose one over the other. There is always a certain amount of stress involved when we move plants from one space in the garden to another. When digging up any plant it is best to remove as much of the root ball as possible. If roots are left behind that were attached, this can be very stressful and make for a harder transition on the plant. Have the new home(s) prepared before digging up any plant. You may have to adjust the size of the hole; make sure the new home is twice as wide as the existing root ball and just as deep. Like any new addition to the garden, keep the newly moved plants well-watered for the first year. Avoid fertilizing for the first year and apply a thin, even layer of mulch to help keep the moisture in and the weeds down. Mulch should never be more than 2 inches thick, otherwise it becomes a host for insect and potential disease problems. When choosing new planting sites, consider each plant’s specific growing conditions and mature size.  

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