Washington: Stewartia Koreana transplant

Discussion in 'Outdoor Gardening in the Pacific Northwest' started by cmorrell, Apr 16, 2012.

  1. cmorrell

    cmorrell Member

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    Can I transplant my Stewartia Koreana? I live in LaConner NW Washington just above Puget Sound zone 7. It's about 6 years old, 5-6' tall, west side of house, gets too much sun & wind (leaves burn), needs more water, want to move to east side with sun morning & early afternoon, out of wind, next to hose, acid soil which they like. I read it's difficult to transplant, should be done in spring but it's just broken into leaf. Can I move it now or wait until early next spring? Will hire help to get large root ball.

    Appreciate your help, it's a beautiful & expensive tree so don't want to loose it.
    Chris
     
  2. skunkyjoe

    skunkyjoe Active Member

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  3. cmorrell

    cmorrell Member

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    So dig a trench all around it, dig under it but don't wrap it in burlap & leave it there until early next spring? Is that what you mean by undercut? I would think it will need even more watering since some of the roots will be gone, there will be air around the sides & the branches are all exposes to west sun. The roots are sheltered by a 5' high solid fence just west of it so they're in the shade.

    Thanks
    Chris
     
  4. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Root pruning prior to transplanting has not been shown to be a generally beneficial practice. For one thing, you'd have to be darn sure to not just cut off the new roots made since the pruning when lifting the pruned specimen later.

    What about mulching your tree and taking steps to water it more effectively where it already is?
     
  5. cmorrell

    cmorrell Member

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    That makes sense to me. I think I'll just leave it there this year, water it well, see how it does & reconsider moving it early next spring.

    Sure love this forum.
    Thanks
    Chris
     
  6. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    A friend grew a bunch of them to large sizes in rows on an open sunny hillside near Bellingham. There used to be three in a planter on the south side of a business on 45th in the University District part of Seattle. Must have been hotter than heck in that spot during at least part of the day each summer, but planting held up for many years - until an extra hot period one year, when it then burned up. I suspect there had been irrigation used up to that time, and it may have been discontinued in time for the hot spell.

    You can also see Stewartia pseudocamellia (Korean stewartia is same species) used as a street tree in downtown Everett, where the specimens there have gotten fairly big despite apparently terrible (Alderwood till or similar) soil and plenty of paved surfaces all around. Maybe you should try mulching yours with discarded cigarette butts, it seems to work with the Everett planting.
     
  7. cmorrell

    cmorrell Member

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    Good story. I lived in Seattle for years, if they can live there in pots mine will do just fine where it is. I hadn't been watering it much now know it needs more, will also mulch it but don't know any smokers.

    Chris
     
  8. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    For most assured success stewartias should be seen as having no drought tolerance. Of course, not all the many examples planted in this region are being kept liberally watered but soil texture has a big effect on how such plants do on various sites. In my neighborhood there is even a bigleaf hydrangea that has lived for what must by now be decades in full sun and with little, if any irrigation - on a gray, cemented till like on the street in Everett. Such seemingly airless soil probably actually holds enough moisture to keep drought-intolerant plants alive through the summers here. Even after the uppermost, exposed (when not mulched) layer turns to dust.
     
  9. cmorrell

    cmorrell Member

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    It's planted in 4' of Skagit's best soil with light layer of compost & roots protected from afternoon sun. I've been hand watering large garden but installing irrigation system this spring so wil make sure there's an emitter close to the base.

    Thanks for your help Ron.
    Chris
     

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