The Q&A Archives: Best way to protect potted trees during a move

Question: I have four Rose of Sharon hibiscus trees in pots that I will be moving from VA to SC. I cannot move them in the moving truck with our household goods shipment and plan on transporting them myself in the back of a truck. The trees range in age from 1-3 years and are between 6-8 feet tall. What is the best way to protect the leaves and branches during the 8-hour ride?

Thanks in advance,
Kelly M. Soles

Answer: There is no easy way to move tall plants in an open truck bed. If you cover them to protect from wind burn, they could cook in the sun. I can only suggest you wrap them in netting (such as is used on Christmas trees when they are transported) and lay them down in the bed of the truck, then attach a tarp over part of the bed to act as a shade for the plants. Bird netting is available in most garden centers; it's plastic and pliable and made to toss over fruit trees to keep birds from getting to the fruit. It will take two people to properly wrap your hibiscus; wrap loosely so you don't break too many branches, but tightly enough that you can lay them on their side without breaking branches. Once they're all wrapped up, lay them in the bed of the truck and then tie a tarp over the part of the bed where the foliage of your plants will be. Don't cover the entire bed or you'll create an oven. The idea is to keep hot afternoon sunshine from baking your plants. Hope this works for you!

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