Moving blueberry bushes

jim_6b(TN)July 24, 2007

I did a search on this forum about moving blueberries but the results didn't answer all of my questions.

I have two bushes that are about 10 years old and they have to be moved. I know that digging them with a rootball would be the best way but I'm not sure what size rootball I need. I don't know what kind or root system blueberries have and not sure how deep I would need to dig. Do they have a long taproot that I need to be concerned about?

Thank you.


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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

Jim: Blueberries do not have a taproot. In fact they are known for having shallow fiborous roots. Your chances of success will be much better with a dormant season move. If your soil doesn't normally freeze very deep, as I suspect is the case in TN, any time from leaf fall until Febr would be the best move date.

If you can take a 3ft wide by 12 inch deep rootball you will have a resonable chance of success. But take the biggest rootball you can. Also you should severely prune back the top to lessen the water demand next yr. Pecan growers cut back their trees severely the yr before moving the tree. So you might even cut back or remove about 80% of the top right now. I'd take out the largest branches. They are the ones you want to remove when pruning any blueberry.

The Fruitnut

    Bookmark   July 24, 2007 at 10:52AM
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I would not cut them back until they have gone dormant. Pruning this time of year will only serve to stimulate more vegetative growth, which is not what you need before moving them. Do prune them heavily just before you move them, but when you do so try not to make many heading back type cuts, as these will encourage vegetative growth. If you don't get to it before the ground freezes, do it as soon as it thaws in the spring. Also, keep them well-watered the year after you move them.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2007 at 12:21PM
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I agree with all the remarks of the nut and girl, both of fruit. But I would add that if you successfully transplant 10-year blueberry bushes, do not expect them to come back and resume their productivity quickly. They will spend at least a year and maybe two in transplant shock, as the fine roots attempt to re-establish themselves, and that is assuming that you perform the transplant skillfully during the dormant season. The unfortunate truth about older blueberry bushes is that they will never recover their former glory after a transplant.

I know it is hard to discard a healthy plant without an attempt to transplant it, but if you are concerned about the future of your blueberry production, you will do better by planting new, vigorous, 2-year or even 1-year plants.

Don Yellman, Great Falls, VA

    Bookmark   July 24, 2007 at 12:50PM
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Thanks for the advice.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2007 at 9:49PM
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I have 3 year old bushes to transplant .
I am zone 4 .
When is the best time to transplant them?

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 10:42AM
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