3810 Whites Creek Pike, Nashville, TN 37207 (615) 876-1014

Archive date:  November 13, 2009

Time to Plan Transplanting, part 1

Holiday pre-ordering starts now

Part 1 of 3

Moving established shrubs from one location to another is one method of changing your landscape and saving money at the same time. The job may be intimidating, but good preparation will make the project somewhat easier and less time-consuming. Careful attention to recommended practices (root pruning, methods of digging and root protection) will improve your chances of success in getting a plant off to a good start after you move it.


Roots of trees and shrubs normally grow well beyond the soil volume that can be moved. To keep most of the roots within a small area, root prune in the spring or fall before transplanting. Plants to be moved in the fall (October or November) should be root pruned in March, and those to be moved in spring (March) should be root pruned in October. Root prune only after leaves have fallen from deciduous plants in fall or before bud break in the spring. Plants may be damaged severely if done at other times. Roots within the pruned area grow many branches and form a strong root system within a confined area. If not root pruned, the plant may die from transplant shock because of root loss.

Before beginning, tie up the branches of low-branched or bushy plants to help avoid injury and keep them out of your way. Heavy twine is usually used, but burlap strips or one-quarter-inch rope is acceptable. Attach the twine to a branch at the base of the plant, wind it around the plant to the top and tie it in a loop.

Begin root pruning by marking a circle the size of the desired ball around the tree or shrub. This trench should be just outside the outermost branches. Be careful to separate the topsoil and subsoil so that when you backfill the trench you will replace the subsoil layer first and topsoil on top. After backfilling, water the area to settle the disturbed soil, remove air pockets and provide adequate moisture for new root development. Untie branches after root pruning…

Next week, I will discuss the digging process.

The cut greens and poinsettia items will arrive the week of November 22nd. Order now to make sure you get the first choice in top quality holiday décor. To pre-order call the nursery and ask for Julie or Paula 615.876.1014.

For everyone that is enjoying the wonderful run of weather in November (and I believe that’s you), we will be offering this Saturday November 14th and Sunday November 15th, 25% off everything we have in stock, excluding gift cards and deliveries. This also includes items already specially priced such as pansies. This is a spectacular time to get your projects completed before the holidays. We value our BatesRewards members and we want to give you the best value to go along with the great weather. Come out and let us help you get your garden right, while the weather is wonderful.

Sunniest Regards,

David Bates