Ask a Question forum: transplanting established Cistena Plum (Prunus x cistena)

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May 7, 2016 6:45 AM CST
I have to move a well-establised Cistena Plum shrub. Is this possible and how is the best procedure. It is now in bloom.
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
May 7, 2016 1:01 PM CST

Your timing is not the best. The best time would be when it was completely dormant. But, if you can get a big enough root ball, it might work. Prepare your new planting spot before you start digging it up. Mark an area the size of the diameter of the shrub. Dig in some compost.

To dig up the shrub, try for a root ball the width of the drip line. Remember to go deep enough. Hopefully, the rootball will stay intact but that's not always the case. If the soil does fall off, suspend the shrub over the new hole at planting depth and carefully fill in around the roots, try not to disturb them too much. Its those fine little roots that are feeding your plant. After planting and watering, do some pruning. No matter how hard you tried, you didn't get all the roots. The top and the bottom support each other and right now, having more roots than top will help your plant recover more quickly. Water until your newly planted shrub is floating - than keep it damp until you see new growth.

Its not hopeless; my husband and I once transplanted a mature mandarin tree. ALL the soil fell off and the tree did fine. The important part is to get enough roots and then preserve the health of the roots.

Let us know how it goes.

Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

Name: Anne
Summerville, SC (Zone 8a)
Only dead fish go with the flow!
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May 7, 2016 1:30 PM CST
Here is what I do when I want to move a shrub .. haven't lost one yet with this method.

I take a long knife like a bread knife or shovel and cut a circle about a foot to 2 feet away from the central trunk of the shrub. You want to go about a foot and a half down. Once done, leave it alone for a a few days and see how it reacts to the root pruning .. if it starts to wilt or look stressed, leave it alone until it recovers ... otherwise dig up the root ball and put it where you want it.

You might want to wait until it stops blooming though.
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[Last edited by Xeramtheum - May 7, 2016 1:31 PM (+)]
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