Opinions on transplanting/moving some big boys...

ademink(z5a-5b Indianapolis)September 8, 2012

Would like to move Pinus wallichiani 'Zebrina' and a WBAC.

Zebrina has grown at a tilt and I want to loosen it, and straighten it. Same spot...just upright. It has been in its current location for 8 years and although it has grown, is not huge...6-8' tall.

The Blue Atlas I want to move over about 2 feet to the right of where it is planted now. It's trunk is about 4-5" in diameter. Fatness. It has also been in its current location for 8 yrs.

Wondering if:

A) They have a good chance of survival

B) I have a good chance of survival LOL

C) This is the best time of year to do it..or Spring (I have read differing opinions)

Thanks!

Andrea

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

go buy a new small blue atlas.. its too big for you to do ... short of big equipment.. this aint no hand job.. as one might say ...

as to the other...

dig on one side... away from the tip .. under dig ... and pull it back until its straight..

or see above regarding simply starting over.. since its not even supposed to live in z5 ...

frankly.. from recollection.. neither of these monsters should be in your TINY garden ...

how about a cool xmas tree this xmas???

and then gift yourself something size appropriate???

ken

ps: changed my mind.. you are nuts to try anything.. get rid of them ... havent seen you in a while.. hope all is well ... which it must be.. if you are dreaming up nightmare projects like this.. lol..

    Bookmark   September 8, 2012 at 7:15PM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

Your soil type is really going to be the determining factor.

Clay...that is going to be really tough.
Loam or sand...very good chance of success

Typically evergreens b&b should be spring dug in zone 5 or lower. Needle desiccation is more likely to be more severe for fall digging.

Soft twine, a tarp or a dolly are going to be your best friend when moving these plants. Wait, you want to move one of these plants 2', as in 24"?lol?

Can you use flat rope (I forget what they call it) and stakes to tilt the other one in an upright position?

    Bookmark   September 8, 2012 at 7:50PM
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ademink(z5a-5b Indianapolis)

hiiiiii my friend Ken! Nice to see you too - yes, i'm crazy as ever. lol life is ok...i keep waiting for it to get normal but it hasnt happened yet. just had a pond bottom drain catastrophe and lost 22 koi that were 2-3.5' so i'm focusing on conifers now and grieving the fish. ;D

i know you keep telling me they shouldn't be alive in my zone but i have two monster WBACs and crazy zebrina doesn't seem to know she is supposed to be dead.

both are in loamy soil. although IN is clay..these were planted in topsoil brought in for the pond edge.

whaas, hi! :) the zebrina is actually on a mound. i tried doing a strap and stake and she said NO...i'm leaning by-cracky. i dont know if i was just stupid when i planted it and did something wrong (we learn) or if it is just weird. i think it is doable on this one...dig tip tilt...i got it, ken. HAHA

by the way, my tiny garden is 1/3 of an acre. i know...tiny to you but not too bad for a city lot. lol

as for the WBAC...(and yes whaas...rofl...24")...if it has a 50/50 chance, i dont mind trying it. i just can't cut it down..i have issues w/ personification. call the shrink.

the problem is that i was stupid when i planted it and had no idea how fat this sucker would weep. it is blocking the right side of the pond and you have to do ninja warrior moves to get around it. i would love to move it closer to the fence.

.........then again...maybe i should just go the long way around it and forget about it. sigh. lol

    Bookmark   September 8, 2012 at 9:26PM
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ricksample(6)

I've moved a 7-8' tall crabapple before & some type of a yew bush. The crabapple I moved with my dad by hand. It was a pain and took an entire day plus a week after of nothing but pain to recover. If I had to do it over again, I'd grab a chain saw.

The yew on the other hand was about 5' tall maybe a 4-5' diameter. Dug around the base a little, tossed a strap around it, hooked it up to the 4x4, floored it. It didn't move. A couple more times digging then a couple more times flooring it did the job. It was in the ground at least 4+ feet. This isn't the prefered method, but it worked. Now 4 years later it's alive. We were just messing around, I wouldn't do this to something I wanted to keep.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2012 at 10:25PM
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ademink(z5a-5b Indianapolis)

Rick, that sounds like the perfect idea. Only issue is that the only think motorized that would fit back there is a boat on the pond..hmmmm.... lol

Does anyone know (yes, i know you will) what type of root structure I'm working w/ on these two? Big roots, fibrous mat, etc?

    Bookmark   September 9, 2012 at 7:18AM
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gardener365(5b Illinois USA)

I'd call around and get some help. That's assuming you can afford to do so. I cannot imagine it being anything over 150 dollars.

Dax

    Bookmark   September 9, 2012 at 8:22AM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

How about some pics of what you're trying to do?

Its not as difficult as it might seem. I'd recommend investing in a spade shovel with an extended blade. I purchased one last year and it works quite well. The more time you invest digging a trench around the root ball and cutting through the roots, including the underside, the more success you'll have. You will also need 2x4's and a couple other people to help out.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2012 at 11:36AM
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ademink(z5a-5b Indianapolis)

Dax...I am a full-on DIY'er when it comes to landscaping. I actually had a landscaping design co for a while and my husband is a landscaper too...though mostly hardscaping. I've moved some big stuff by hand but just haven't done specialty stuff like this that I've rocked and bottle fed along for 8 years so I thought i should ask. lol

Bigger issue than the fact that I am cheap :) (my Dutch roots, according to my Dutch father) is that you can't get equipment to where I am going.

whaas...going to get pics now.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2012 at 3:10PM
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ademink(z5a-5b Indianapolis)

Pardon the weeds. It was a hellish summer.

Crooked Zebrina w/ a wild hair. I think part of the issue is that it developed a double leader when I wasn't paying attn.

This was supposed to show how much the trunk was leaning. Instead it just shows the wildness of my oregano and chives. lol

Fat baby WBAC...want to move it toward the fence:

As I dug down in and around the flare, I noticed that there are what look like pencil sized twisted roots. I don't know if I didn't untangle them or..???? I don't remember much from 8 yrs ago. I remember I got it from Miller's Manor and it was in a pot. Wonder if I just figured it was in good shape and planted it "as is". Might explain why it hasn't grown as much as I thought it should by now.

Rethinking moving the WBAC the more I look at it. I may just continue my ninja acrobatics to get past it....

    Bookmark   September 9, 2012 at 3:40PM
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ademink(z5a-5b Indianapolis)

Pardon the weeds. It was a hellish summer.

Crooked Zebrina w/ a wild hair. I think part of the issue is that it developed a double leader when I wasn't paying attn.

This was supposed to show how much the trunk was leaning. Instead it just shows the wildness of my oregano and chives. lol

Fat baby WBAC...want to move it toward the fence:

As I dug down in and around the flare of Zebrina, I noticed that there are what look like pencil sized twisted roots. I don't know if I didn't untangle them or..???? I don't remember much from 8 yrs ago. I remember I got it from Miller's Manor and it was in a pot. Wonder if I just figured it was in good shape and planted it "as is". Might explain why it hasn't grown as much as I thought it should by now.

Rethinking moving the WBAC the more I look at it. I may just continue my ninja acrobatics to get past it....

    Bookmark   September 9, 2012 at 3:45PM
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ricksample(6)

I'd keep the blue atlas right where it's at, it's a nice looking plant and it looks like it's in the pefect spot. If you needed to get around it, couldn't you move those two large rocks furthest towards it? One of those would look great in my yard.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2012 at 5:58PM
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ireena_7

I personally think that the trees look wonderful right where they are. Rather, you will think about how to change what is around them. It will require much less physical strength and help to build a nice composition, where these two trees would be key. And Zebrinas slope can be converted from a defect to effect:) It has not developed into a solid form. I'd allow it to develop further in the same way, just fix the situation. Straight it does not look good.. Some semi-dwarf or dwarf conifers with regular and dense shape between these two artistic and "wild" trees - nice and easy solution:)....
But those are just my subjective opinion:)

Ireena

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 5:19AM
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dcsteg(5 Shawnee, KS.)

I moved a 6 ft. 'Hoopsii' 6 years ago. In order for it to survive the root ball has to be considerable. Trenching around that thing and getting under it was a considerable amount of hands and knees work. With that accomplished I secured the root ball by wrapping it with nylon rope to keep it intact. The most challenging part of the whole move was to get the 300 pound root ball out of the hole. I cribbed it up with wood. I then put the root ball on a piece of plastic tarp, wet the grass and it slid very nicely over to the prepared hole.

I would never do this again. Hire it done.

If you want to do it on the cheap make sure you harbor no apparent health issues. If you are successful, when done, you won't have any wind left in your sails.

Dave

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 6:55AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

i dont see the WBA as 4 to 5 inches on the trunk ????

regardless.. i would NOT move them..

it would be much easier.. and safer for the trees.. if you just changed the plan.. rather than move large plants.. thats how i do it anyway.. lol ..

especially since neither are technically zone appropriate.. but for your micro climate ...

one thing for sure.. if you move them.. we will have the antithesis of this summer.. during winter.. and then you will be wondering.. was it the cutting off of 90% of its root mass that killed it.. or the z4 winter.. lol ...

ken

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 7:14AM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

Ditto to not moving. You'll know best but it looks like they are both reaching. You may be in a the same boat in a couple years if you end up moving them.

The pine "looks" like it can easily be staked. I have something double that size in caliper and height that I've staked.

Thanks for sharing the pics. I remember your yard now with the pond (and Cornus mas?), nice!

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 9:31AM
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ademink(z5a-5b Indianapolis)

Ok. I officially am abandoning moving the WBAC...it shall remain. lol

whaas...I tried staking it and all it did was encourage the trunk to curve more. It is coming out of the ground at an angle and so I think it may need to be repositioned in the ground. It's like trying to stake the letter C into a straight line, if that makes any sense. Dunno. Guess I could do it again and see what happens.

And yes!! Great memory...massive cornus mas :) (Still dying to get my hands on an alba!). I hacking a big weigela to the ground 2 days ago to get all new growth and just as I was getting ready to lop what I thought was a branch, I realized the wood was different. Took a closer look and found a fabulous little 2' cornus mas sapling!

It has been transplanted next to an old redbud that is ready to give up the ghost so it can fill that space when it comes down next year. An exciting find! :)

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 9:53AM
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