How To Transplant Large Euonymus And Arborvitae Shrubs

Question From: J. Campbell - Plymouth, Michigan, United States
Q: I need to transplant two large (overgrown really) holly bushes, two large euonymus shrubs and three globe arborvitaes from the landscape of a home that is being demolished to another site, and I have to do it in the next few weeks. How much should I prune before digging up the root balls and replanting? If I don't prune back somewhat I can't even begin to dig them out. HELP!

A: It is recommended not to take more than 1/3 of the foliage off an evergreen. They need the leaves and needles to feed themselves. Do be sure to water the shrubs well a couple of days before digging. Dig and prepare the new holes prior to the move and water the entire area well a couple of days ahead of time. You don't want it sopping wet. Try to wait until the weather cools a bit. I would also use Assure Transplant Success in the planting hole and sprinkle it on the roots before planting. You can get it at English Gardens. It contains beneficial organisms that will help the shrubs become established. I would water the shrubs by bi-weekly until the move to get them well hydrated. Some folks recommend spraying the foliage with an antitransperant such as Wilt Pruf before the dig to help keep the stubs from losing moisture. Cover the shrubs during the move. Wind whipping in the back of a truck can be devastating. Be sure to plant them at the same depth they were in the landscape. Mulch around the shrubs with a good quality organic mulch to a depth of 3 inches - not ground up dead wood pallets that has been painted. You can get it at a landscape supply store. Good Luck with the move. It will be challenging. Best And Happy Yardening, Nancy

Q: Follow up Question: Thank you for the information concerning transplanting the arborvitae, but you did not address at all the part of my question concerning transplanting the overgrown euonymous and holly shrubs. Please advise me on those two bushes as well. Thank you

A: The same techniques hold true for those shrubs. Best Nancy