The Q&A Archives: Transplanting A Large Fig Tree

Question: I planted a fig tree a couple of years ago that is outgrowing its area. I would like to move it to a bigger place. How do I do this and will it survive?

Answer: You can move it with a little work. Wait until November when it is dormant. Cut the top back severely, at least by 1/2. Dig around the tree about 12-18" from the base, and then under the tree to cut all roots. Lean the root ball to the side and slide a tarp under it. Lean it back toward the tarp and then use the tarp to slide the tree to its new location. This eliminates the need for the backbreaking task of lifting the tree and root ball.

Place the tree in a hole in its new location and water it in well as you add soil and firm it in around the roots. Mulch the tree very well to protect the base. The top portions that you left after pruning may die back to the ground if this is a very cold winter for your area, but the tree will resprout from the base.

An easier option would be to root a cutting from the tree. Figs root easily and a newly rooted plant will grow rapidly when planted outdoors.

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