The Q&A Archives: Transplanting Lombardy Poplars

Question: In the spring I purchased 2 Lombardy poplars, each 3-3 1/2 feet in height and planted them both in one 15 inch
flower pot on my terrace which has a direct eastern exposure and minimal sun. The trees grew about
2 feet since then and a few days ago I carefully dug up one of them and transplanted it into a much larger wooden planter that has excellent drainage. I added a small amount of manure and have kept it well watered. Unfortunately it looks like it is dying; the leaves are limp, brittle and appear to be dried out, despite the twice daily waterings.

Any suggestions?

Answer: Usually the best time to transplant trees is during the dormant season or fall or early spring rather than during the heat of the summer, so I suspect your tree is suffering severe transplant shock. Try to keep the soil evenly moist but not soggy, protect it from drying wind, and be patient. It may drop all of its leaves and then slowly releaf out for you, or it may eventually die. Some gardeners report good results using seaweed or kelp (from the garden center) to treat severely stressed trees. It might be worth a try. Good luck with your tree!

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