This weekend we moved our Mahonia japonica. Established trees and shrubs should only be moved if absolutely necessary, as there will undoubtedly be some degree of stress when the plant is uprooted. Unfortunately, this beautiful specimen (currently in full bloom and providing some much-needed late pollen for the bees) had started to grow out at an angle away from the large coniferous hedge behind it. So, although it’s been flourishing in this dry shady spot, the time had come to move it.
It wasn’t a job we were particularly looking forward to (I say ‘we’, as I enlisted the brute strength of my husband on this occasion), as the Mahonia’s spine-toothed leathery leaves don’t make it an easy specimen to get to grips with.
All I can say is … ouch! But in 15 minutes the deed was done (we’d pre-dug the hole), and my Mahonia now has the room to grow tall and straight.
Tips for minimizing the trauma of transplantation:
- Water the soil well the day before moving
- Prune lightly if possible
- Lift the plant with as much rootball intact as possible
- Prepare the new hole in advance and lift and replant in one operation
- Mix some fresh compost in with the existing earth
- On transplanting, firm around the base of the plant carefully
- Water thoroughly after planting, and keep watering if the weather is dry until it’s established