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flowerpower

transplanting question

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Wait until the tree is dormant. That would mean late fall or early winter. The roots are allegedly fairly shallow not going more than 2 feet into the soil assuming you are talking about the miniature ones. Start digging at about the drip-line of the tree or even further. The roots are fibrous so cutting a few won't hurt. There is not taproot that can be damaged. Get a good root ball and wrap it in burlap. They advise one foot of root ball per each inch of tree trunk. Don't let it dry out. 

Dig a hole at least twice as big as the root ball. Put in the tree at the same level it was growing. Backfill the hole and water to settle the soil. It is advisable to remove all grass  or weeds from around the tree until it gets started. The root system doesn't go that deep and it will be in competition with other plants until iit is settled in and growing. Once it starts growing give it some water just to encourage the growth of new roots until it has settled in. You might want to wait until the ground freezes and then mulch it to prevent heaving. Leave a space around the trunk to prevent rot of the bark. 

Now to my "allegedly" shallow root system. We tried to move one that was about 5 feet tall but it had been there for years. Couldn't be done digging by hand. Our soil is clay and very hard to dig which may have been the problem. The messing around with the root system didn't seem to disturb it and it thrives in its original spot today. Good luck with it!

 

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Alternatively, and better, root prune it now and water it very well all through the fall to encourage new sturdier root development..  It will do much better in its present spot than in a new one for the winter. To root prune it, start digging a thin 12 inch deep trench around the tree checking for roots as you go. If you see a lot, then move out a bit till you aren't finding many.  The object is to cut off only the ends of the roots.  It may be about the same width area as the top of the tree is wide.

Once you go completely around the tree, fill the trench with a potting soil that is extremely absorbent.  The tree will respond by growing more small roots and root hairs back towards the trunk.  It needs to be kept moist at all times.  Do not feed it.

Mulch well this fall, and move the tree in the spring well before you see any leaf buds.  The tree will never know it was moved but you will need to water it occasionally through the heat of next summer.  Japanese Maple roots are relative shallow, so the root ball will be wide but not so deep.  Wrap the root ball well so it does not flex, then drag it onto a piece of heavy cardboard.  Slide the card board to the newly dug hole and gently lower it into the hole.  You may want to soil test the edges of the hole to make sure the soil is good for the tree.

Also, be sure the tree is in approximately the same amount of shade and sun as it is now.

Do not plant the tree deeper than it is currently which is a common problem.  You want the root flare to show at ground level. Make the hole slightly wider, but no deeper.  You should not need a stake, but if you do, then remove it immediately next fall.

Once planted, mulch to the drip line of the tree, making sure there is bare soil for 6 inches from the trunk to the inner edge of the mulch.  Trees do not like grass or anything else touching their bark.  The mulched area will look like a big donut.

https://homeguides.sfgate.com/deep-roots-dwarf-japanese-maple-ground-82932.html

https://extension.psu.edu/transplanting-or-moving-trees-and-shrubs-in-the-landscape


"The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil but by those who watch them without doing anything"

Albert Einstein

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This is the first time in years that my Japanese Maple actually got to be beautiful.  Every year, either frost or hail or drought gets it.  Enjoy your treasure.


"The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil but by those who watch them without doing anything"

Albert Einstein

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