A client that I designed a garden for two years ago is moving house. She has contacted me asking that as the new purchasers are not in the slightest bit interested in the garden (being two young lads) she has opted to move the majority of the plants and put them in pots to take them to the new garden, with the approval of the new purchasers. Most of the plants are herbaceous or small shrubs, so they will not prove to be a problem. My main problem is the fact that she has a large and beautiful acer dissectum which was a present from her mother, which she wants to try to move as well. The house sale is due to take place in July/August, so you can imagine my feelings about attempting this! She fully accepts that it may possibly not survive, so does anyone have any tips about how to achieve this? She wants it put in a giant pot afterwards, as the new garden does not as yet have any borders, and they will be spending the first year putting the house to rights, and will not have time to create the garden until later. I attach a photo!
I seem to remember that when the garden was relandscaped, this acer was dug up and moved, so it will not be quite so embedded as if it had been in the same place for 5 years. But even so, its a bit of a scary proposition!
Unfortunatly japanaese maples are one of the easiest plants to move when the buds are tight (so up till late Feb) and then conversely about the toughest to move after that. Saying that I guess water it heavily before the move so that the plant is as turgid as it can be and then take as much root as you can. Might also be worth spraying the leaves with a watered down PVA mix which will clog the leaf pores and possibly help prevent water loss. Once repotted water the hell out of it and then pray...
Steve from T&S will probably have a better suggestion so might be worth PM'ing him. It's a lovely plant so it's got to be worth a go if it's only going to be destroyed. Good luck!
Hello Sarah, What a Beautiful Japaneses Maple!!! I find they have become so popular and add wonderful Interest to the garden, I also find they they are not as delicate as the look, they have adapted well in most ClimateIn the past 2 years I have transplanted 3 Acer's...
***make sue the Tree is watered well and not thirsty when about to dig (for a couple days)
*** thinning out some crossing branches would help as well not to make it to top heavy
*** dig as far away from the tree that you possibly can to get as MANY ROOTS as possible...
*** I think wrapping it up in Burlap (unless you have a huge pot for all the roots) like a balled and burlapped tree would be best..
*** keep it out of direct sunlight, so it does not dry out to much
***when replanting use a Plant start fertilizer, 5-15-5, to prevent and help from transplant shock, great topsoil mixed with some of it's original soil
I think if it is done on days while there is overcast and some coolness in the air, that will help as well...
Good Luck Sarah, it can be very successful !!!
What a plant! Shame the house sale can't be delayed until November!
If it has to be moved, soak the ground around it for several days before, the best way is to lay a hosepipe close to the rootball on a very slow trickle, so to soak in.
To lift it, I would cut around 75% of the rootball now, to the size for lifting, this combined with watering should ease the stress. When it finally comes to move it, cut around the remaining 25%, still attached.
Then pot it with some really good compost, put it in a shady site, soak it, and yes hope.
The plant will go into shock, but I would not prune anything until next Spring.
Best of luck.
Be aware that "going into shock" could involve it shedding all its leaves - but this may not mean its popped its clogs. They are temperamental little buggers, and we've seen them do this, and then re-leaf as if nothing has happened the following spring.
Also be aware that they hate to be over watered - so keep it moist after potting, but not wet!