Rhododendrons: transplanting 30 year old rhododendron

Discussion in 'Ericaceae (rhododendrons, arbutus, etc.)' started by brianeo, May 4, 2004.

  1. brianeo

    brianeo Member

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    richmond
    hello and thank you in advance for your help. I have been working on a 35 year old garden in steveston-richmond- for 3 years now. It has many large 35 year old specimin trees and large rhododendrons. I have built a large koi pond and now I have to move one of the rhodos. I have this shady area where grass will not grow. Grass used to grow here, but now with 2 dogs it is the 'dead zone'.

    I want to create a shade garden here and I would like to move one of the old rhodos to this area.

    My plan is to make a raised area with lots of leaf mould and compost. I cannot find any info on when and how to transplant old rhodos. does anyone have any pointers?
     
  2. jimmyq

    jimmyq Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Metro Vancouver, BC, Canada.
    Dig a large, shallow root mass. I would suggest at least as wide as the dripline of the shrub and perhaps 18 to 24 inches deep at the center. Drum tie it with burlap and depending on the weight of the root mass you may want to hire a crane to move it.If you have the luxury of time, try root pruning it (use a sharp digging spade with a long blade and cut downwards through the roots at the same space as you would for the rootball (dripline)) sometime in the next month or so. Wait until fall and transplant in either November or Early March of the following year. You may sacrifice the flowering for the spring after the transplant but thats to be expected. use bonemeal when you transplant and potentially use a transplanter solution containing IBA but... use it at half the strength that the label says, it has the potential to burn easily with the high NPK as a liquid nutrient.

    that said.. you could consider hiring a company to do it or at the least take a look at it and give you more detailed information.
     

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  3. douglas

    douglas Active Member 10 Years

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    princegeorge b.c
    I am not trying to be contrary but how large is the specimen (ie. total girth (how tall and wide) 30 year old
    does not clearly id the phyisical size. Niether does large.

    ie. in the northern parts of North Carolina large (for a 30 year old Rhodo ) could be @ 15 to 30 feet tall and the same width and thick enough that a deer or a man could not get through it.

    If proper prep is done a Rhodo can be moved any time of the year ( granted spring and fall are best) The ones stated above were moved in July of 93, they bloomed in 94 . They are still very happy.

    I have seen several Rhodos that were @ the same age and called large that could be handled (and were by 3 people)

    1 tip is that certain Rhodos (not all) do have tap roots,
    to figure out the depth of the root ball depth you should
    figure on 1/3 of its height

    regards doug
     
  4. Chris Klapwijk

    Chris Klapwijk Active Member 10 Years

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    Location:
    Surrey, B.C., Canada
    We regularly move large Rhododendrons from our farm in South Langley.
    A few Azaleas are tap rooted, but the vast majority of Rhododendrons are shallow rooted, between 30 cm to 45 cm (12" to 18").
    The attached photo shows a 3.5 m (12') Rhododendron 'Pink Pearl' being moved April 18th, 2003. It was re-planted on top of the ground with soil mounded to it rather then in a planting hole. We found survival rates to be greater this way. It was kept well-watered all of last summer and bloomed profusely this year.
    As far as providing shade is concerned, a word of caution. Some rhododendrons will do poorly if shaded whereas others need shade to thrive. If you know the variety you have or if you could post a picture of it in bloom I might be able to tell you what is best for your particular plant.
     

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  5. jimmyq

    jimmyq Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    So Chris, what happened to your eyes in the picture? :)
     
  6. Chris Klapwijk

    Chris Klapwijk Active Member 10 Years

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    I'm not in that picture, Paul. Just protecting the innocent....
     

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