Moving a Crape Myrtle

sandrab_gardener(7)May 4, 2010

I planted 2 crape myrtles too close to my porch 10 years ago and need them moved. This spring I whittled them down to the ground thinking that they would die. They are still sprouting shoots so now I want to move them and give them new life. My question is how deep is the tap root? Also, if I replant them, could I get trunks now that I have chopped them to a small stump? How do I replant - do I cover them completely with dirt? Thank you in advance :)

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donnabaskets(Zone 8a, Central MS)

You can move them. They do not have a taproot as such. First, dig the hole where they will make their new home, working in a generous amount of compost or composted manure, etc. Then, take a shovel and cut a circle a shovel's depth around the trunk that is as large a diameter as possible, but which you can reasonably handle. It's best if you can have some help with this part, since the bigger the root ball you take, the faster your tree will recover. Lever the rootball out of the ground and cut any roots that don't want to come out, leaving them as long as you can. Put it on a tarp and drag it to its new location. Plant it so that the ground level of the root ball is slightly above ground level in its new location. Water well. You will get vigorous, multiple shoots that will come up from the stump. I would let them grow a year or two and then cut to the ground all the trunks you don't want to keep. If you plant them in good soil, they will rebound so fast you won't believe it.

Don't be surprised if you continue to get new growth at their old homeplace too. Either dig them out and move or share, or cut them to the ground until they die out.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2010 at 12:00PM
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