Moving a Norfolk Pine

Discussion in 'Araucariaceae' started by playinplair, Mar 28, 2008.

  1. playinplair

    playinplair Member

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    Your posting was:
    I planted a Norfolk Pine I used as an indoor Christmas decoration in my
    front bed. It has grown quite a bit in the past four years. Does
    anyone know how much trouble it would be to dig it up and move it away from
    my home. I can already tell that it will cause me problems if I leave
    it where it is. Also, I live in Houston TX and the Norfolk has thrived
    under a large Poplar Tree that faces South. Does anyone know the root
    growth habits and will it be a lot of trouble to try and save it?

    Fran
     
  2. DGuertin

    DGuertin Active Member 10 Years

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    If it was in a 3-gallon pot as I suspect, and it's been four years, you'll probably be safest trying to dig a roughly 20-gallon sized plug. Plan on about 12" from the trunks all the way around, and at least 18" deep... That's if you want to play it safe, anyway. I just broke up several Norfolks this weekend, ironically enough... Also, be absolutely certain that you don't just drop it out in full sun. Will not be fun for the tree... They can handle full sun, and all of mine grow there, but it takes time to get them adjusted. I'm in Spring, just North of you.
     
  3. playinplair

    playinplair Member

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    Actually it was in a 6" pot. You know the size that they sell in the grocery store around Christmas. Thanks, I'll give it a try.
     
  4. Liz

    Liz Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Are you able to harden it off with a bit of direct sun before you plant it out into a full sun position. Just don't cook the roots place the pot in some mulch. I always have a mental picture of Texas being hot and dry (too many cowboy films???) They grow along the coast here in full sun and do well. Also a common tree in suburbia. We range from about 5 c to 40 c but usualy mid range.

    Liz
     
  5. playinplair

    playinplair Member

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    I was planning on planting it back directly in the ground but am not sure what type of root system they have. I have it in a shaded area but have no other shade to plant it in. The only other place I can plant it would be on the west side of my home where it would get the afternoon sun. Only problem is the yard on that side of my home is only about 15-16 feet wide. Houston has a hot humid climate. Do you know how wide they can grow?
     
  6. Liz

    Liz Well-Known Member 10 Years

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  7. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Houston isn't warm enough in winter for long-term growth outdoors - it might live for a few years if you get a run of mild winters, but sooner or later, a bad winter will kill it. All the places where it grows to maturity outdoors are in zone 10 or warmer.
     
  8. DGuertin

    DGuertin Active Member 10 Years

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    Playin,

    Where exactly are you at in Houston? You should be able to pick up a plain black plastic "nursery pot" from one of the local places. If you're near enough, you're more than welcome to come by and pick one up from me, as I have more than a few spare 15 gallons, and probably won't need any for a year or two.

    Best bet is to start off by moving the soil away from the trunks by hand, working down to where you start to find roots, and then following them out as best as possible. You will snap some eventually, I guarantee it, just try to be as careful as possible. I don't even reach for a spade until I have a very good idea of where the roots are in general, and I'll give it another 3" or so from where I've stopped hand digging before I put a shovel in the dirt.
     
  9. playinplair

    playinplair Member

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    Houston is in zone 10 and we really don't have winter here. Most people where shorts on Christmas day.
     
  10. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Zone 9 on the USDA map. Only zone 10 when you get down below Corpus Christi. If you ever get much below about -5°C in a Norte, it'll be killed.
     
  11. DGuertin

    DGuertin Active Member 10 Years

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    Have to agree with you for the most part, but we do have a number of 30' plus Norfolks spread throughout the Houston area. *IF* you can get enough mild years in a row, you can get them big enough to handle the cold snaps unharmed. My biggest is in a 15 gallon pot now, and I never covered it once last winter. We had a cold snap to the low 20's one night, 25 another night, and several just generally 'under 30.' Many people also seem to have extraordinary luck in growing them under larger trees without damage.
     
  12. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    That's not large, nor mature, for this fast-growing, and commonly grown, well-tried species. When you find several which are more than 30 metres tall in an area, you can be sure it is hardy outdoors for the long-term.
     
  13. DGuertin

    DGuertin Active Member 10 Years

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    No question about that mate. ;-) Always just seems that there is this opinion in many circles that the kill point for a Norfolk is about 45 F, which is just completely wrong from my experience.
     

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