The Q&A Archives: Relocate evergreen plants in the fall

Question: Is it a safe time to relocate my evergreen shrubs? My goal is to relocate the shrub to the front of my home for curb appeal and color during the winter months, as well as having several planted together and they need to be separated to encourage more growth.

Should I wait until the spring? Please advise.

Answer: You can dig and transplant evergreens at any time of year - with the proper after care. The most recommended times of the year are spring and fall because the weather is cool and rainfall usually abundant, which makes the move and re-establishment less stressful on the plants. However, if you're careful, you can move it now. Begin by thoroughly soaking the soil the day before the move. Moist soil makes for easier digging. Expect the roots to be in the top 12-18" of soil, spreading out to at least the ends of the branches. Start your digging there and move in towards the trunk or main stems. Try not to sever too many roots when digging and get it back into the ground as soon as possible. After replanting water it in well and remember to water it deeply once each week until fall rains take over for you. Expect some wilting after the move. Don't take the wilting as a need for water - overwatering can suffocate the roots. Just be sure to water deeply once each week and by late fall it should recover.

Best wishes with the move!

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