Root Pruning for Transplanting Success
Since the majority of tree and shrub roots are removed during transplanting, root pruning stimulates root growth closer to the trunk prior to transplanting.
Prune the roots during the dormant season in fall when transplanting in spring or in spring when transplanting in fall.
Start by tying branches of low branched and bushy plants up and out of your way to reduce damage. Use sturdy twine or cloth strips for this task.
Mark the circle of the desired rootball for transplanting. The larger the plant, the bigger the rootball you’ll need.
Use a sharp spade to cut through the roots just outside this circle. New roots will form in this area, giving your transplanted trees and shrubs a better foundation for new growth.
A bit more information: Dig a rootball based on the size of the plant you are moving. Avoid damaging the heavy rootball, the plant and your back by asking for help. For more details on root pruning, the chart on recommended rootball size, and transplanting click here.