Peonies forum: Is this the right time to move a tree peony?

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caitlinsgarden
Oct 15, 2013 9:52 AM CST
It is about 3 years old and I would like to move it to a sunnier spot with less tree root competition.
Name: Paul
Utah (Zone 5b)
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Paul2032
Oct 15, 2013 10:46 AM CST
Where are you at? While peonies are often transplanted in the fall I think I would wait til early spring with a tree peopny.
Paul Smith Pleasant Grove, Utah

caitlinsgarden
Oct 16, 2013 2:37 PM CST
I am in NE Iowa. Thought I had heard that they are supposed to be transplanted in the fall, but maybe that's just regular peonies.
Name: Tracey
Wisconsin (Zone 5a)
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magnolialover
Oct 17, 2013 7:36 AM CST

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I would pick fall to move. Get ready, those roots are very deep. Get as much of it as you can. This is a great time to transplant and let it settle in.
Tracey

caitlinsgarden
Jul 12, 2015 6:27 AM CST
Thank you! I still haven't moved it so this thread is still pertainant! Think I will do it in the fall.

graycrna4u
Jul 12, 2015 6:05 PM CST
Transplant in the fall. When the leaves start to turn brown and fall off, the plant is dormant and ready. Visually draw a line around the plant with the leaves on. This will cover the root mass that must be transplanted. It will be considerable on a 3 year old plant. Use a pitchfork or a mulch fork to dig down along the imaginary line and with each trip around the plant use the pitch fork as a fulchrum to help you loosen the root mass. Once you have the tree peony free, use a water hose and wash all of the soil off of the roots. The hole you transplant in must be as big and deep as the root mass. If any of the plant separates from the mother plant, you can transplant it and it will grow into a new plant. Don't be surprised if the TP is angry and doesn't perform the first year or all the plant above ground dies off only to sprout new scions from the same root mass. It is a big undertaking but can be done. Good luck.

caitlinsgarden
Jul 13, 2015 6:19 AM CST
Why wash the dirt off? I would just replant with the ball of soil intact.
Name: Tracey
Wisconsin (Zone 5a)
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magnolialover
Jul 13, 2015 6:34 AM CST

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I would think the less disturbance, the better, unless you're sending it to someone.
Tracey

graycrna4u
Jul 14, 2015 5:26 PM CST
Dirt weighs a lot when moving a plant with a large root mass. You don't have to rinse it off, but it helps to have less weight and let's you see any divisions that have separated in the removal. You won't be able to make a clean removal of the roots. Good luck.

caitlinsgarden
Jul 15, 2015 6:29 AM CST
True about the weight. I think I will just move the whole root ball onto a tarp and and pull it to the new place. Should it be well watered first, and the new hole well watered also?

graycrna4u
Jul 16, 2015 2:21 AM CST
I would water and fertilize, but don't over do it with the water. Peonies don't like wet feet.
Name: Jerry
Salem, IL
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Oldgardenrose
Jul 16, 2015 2:34 PM CST
Now would be the most stressful time to transplant anything. Early Spring or Fall gives the plant more time to adjust to the heat of Summer or the cold of Winter. There is a reason why peonies are always dug and shipped in the early Fall by professional nurseries. They need to be dormant before moving but there are exceptions in success. That does not mean it is the best way. A lot depends upon circumstances unique to individual situations.
Name: Jerry
Salem, IL
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Oldgardenrose
Jul 19, 2015 4:26 PM CST
The first pic is of a double red fernleaf. Obviously, it is dormant now but it is happy where it is and will be ready to transplant in the Fall, if necessary.
Thumb of 2015-07-19/Oldgardenrose/0aaabf

The second pic is of a regular peony. It is still lush and very healthy while making and storing the energy food for next Spring. These may be transplanted at any time but it does much more harm than good. Wait until a cool Fall or very early Spring.


Thumb of 2015-07-19/Oldgardenrose/156ca1

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