Transplanting Established Trees & Shrubs
Clemson Cooperative Extension offers a superb online resource, Transplanting Established Trees & Shrubs, that provides in-depth information on the process of moving established woody ornamental plants. Especially helpful are some accompanying charts that guide us in how far out to dig the root ball based on the size of the plant.
Clever Gardening Technique
Putting Plants "On Hold"
If you need to move a plant now but have no place to plant it right away, you can put it "on hold". Smaller plants can be potted up in containers, using a mixture of half garden soil and half potting soil. Water the containerized plant in well and if the weather is warm, place it in a very bright shade location to minimize stress. Then after a couple of weeks gradually move it into more sunlight. Plants too large to pot up can be held for a while by setting the root ball on top of the soil in a bright shady location and then mounding up a soil/compost mix around it. Water the root ball regularly as needed to keep it moist. This will keep the plant reasonably happy until you can prepare a planting spot for replanting.