The Q&A Archives: transplanting

Question: Can five year old carolina laurels be transplanted? If so, when / how is the best way to do so?

Answer: If you're careful, almost any landscape shrub can be transplanted. Spring and fall are generally the best times. That's when temperatures are cooler and rainfall abundant, which will lessen the shock of being moved. Expect the roots to be concentrated in the top 12-18" of soil and extend out past the dripline of the shrub. Start digging at the dripline and work your way down and toward the main stems of the plant. It's okay to sever some of the smaller roots, but try to keep the major roots intact. Make the move as quickly as possible so the roots are not exposed to sunshine and air for any great length of time. Replant at the same soil level as it was growing and be sure to water deeply after the move to help settle the soil and remove any air pockets around the roots. Water deeply once each week until natural rainfall takes over the chore for you. By next spring the roots should be well established and your laurels should be none the worse for wear.

Best wishes with your laurels!

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