Can I move this camelia?

stevied(8b/9a FL)March 9, 2006

The previous owners of our home planted a camelia japonica approximately 5 feet from a large, mature magnolia tree. It is clearly out of place and needs to be moved. The camelia is approximately 4 feet high but is approx. 3-4 inches in diameter.

I'm concerned about root damage. I don't think I can use a spade for fear of damaging the roots of the magnolia. However, if I dig it by hand, I might still damage the magnolia tree roots, and I will definitely damage the camelia roots.

Do you think I can pull this off, or is the camelia a lost cause, and should I just whack it off and call in a stump grinder?

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forrestal(Gulf Coast z8b)

It sounds worth saving, and small enough to move without much damage to either plant. However, now is not the time to dig it up, as the plant is beginning its spring growth. Instead try late next autumn after it goes dormant. Then keep as much of the root ball intact. The magnolia will be okay, they are tough as nails.

In the meantime, for insurance purposes, now would be the perfect time to make some airlayers of the limbs in case the plant doesn't survive the move. Then you will still have some smaller babies to plant elsewhere no matter what happens. It is fun too.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2006 at 10:22PM
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stevied(8b/9a FL)

Thanks for the reply. I'm going to take your advice and try to dig it up next fall/early winter. I'll pass, however, on the airlyer limbs idea as I have quite a few small camelias I can plant should the moved camellia not make it.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2006 at 12:27PM
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A couple montht ago DH and I moved an 8 foot, 20+ year old one to the backyard, and it is doing great. I don't think it will bloom this year, though. We dug it out by hand so we would not bother roots around it.

About 3 years ago, we cut it all the way down to a stump, and it grew right back!!

    Bookmark   April 16, 2006 at 1:58AM
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