Move a Tulip Tree

cynthianovakMarch 4, 2013

HI All
I only got 3 flowers on my "Magnolia Jane" Again!
I've tried fertilizer and no fertilizer. I believe I need more sun.

My plan is to dig around the tree and try to keep as many of the hair roots at the surface in tact. I'll only need to drag it about 15 feet. Should I keep as much soil as possible on the roots, or should I not stress about that and worry about getting the deep roots.

As you can see this is a first for me and I don't know what to worry about and what doesn't matter.

I so know that I probably won't have much control over keeping the soil on the roots. Do you think the tree would like a bag on composted manure in the hole to dig its roots into to leave the soil as is. My soil is nice. A little sticky and a little sandy and dark.

Any suggestions are welcome, I started diggin the new hole this evening. It is going to take a while.

c

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PKponder TX(7b)

How large is it? I have no experience with magnolia but the general consensus is to burlap or wrap the roots to preserve the root ball. Are you sure that you want to do this right before the heat kicks in?

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 9:14PM
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cynthianovak

I don't really want to do it, but it is an understory tree. My hope is to get it done now before the real heat in June. Right now, there is moisture in the soil and it is nice and sticky.

Perhaps I will use a big piece of cardboard so I can sled it over to the new spot. It should only be out of the ground for minutes.

What do you think about composted manure in the hole? I have a bag of Black Cow.

c

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 1:03AM
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PKponder TX(7b)

You might mix a bit of the Black Cow into the soil below the root ball, but I would provide an organic phosphorus from bone meal to aid in new root development and maybe a handful of epsom salts mixed in to help the tree uptake that phosphorus. No fertilizer for the first year after moving it. I found a good article and will link it below. It recommends root pruning in the fall before moving in the spring or vice versa.

Good luck! Get some help with this, it sounds like very heavy work.

Here is a link that might be useful: How to transplant a magnolia tree

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 6:08AM
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cynthianovak

Thanks, this is really helpful and the article is just what I needed.

smiles of appreciation c

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 8:08AM
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cynthianovak

I think I must be insane. I dug a lovely new hole, started working my way around the tree. The soils is sticky and moist and I can see the lovely roots near the surface.

But I cant get under the tree.

I may just recover the roots with the soil I dug out. I have a trench about a foot wide, all around the tree. I need to decide what to do soon but right now I'm leaning toward letting her stay where she is.

Errrgh
c

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 2:13PM
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cynthianovak

I decided to cover those gorgous roots back up and do my best to make more sun for my Jane Magnolia. I previously thought it would not be as hard to more and would not have such a happy root system. Sorry for the desperate call for help before. Any thoughts are welcome on what she might need to forgive me for the abuse....grins. I gave her some bone meal and composted manure as part of the refill. cynthia

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 3:03PM
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PKponder TX(7b)

Both of those amendments should help! That why I asked how big she was. The root system on even a small tree can be massive and it sounded like she's been there for a year or two.

:-) I bet all that digging was a great cardio workout

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 7:46PM
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cynthianovak

Yes, quite a workout. I confess the roots just below the surface were like mop heads, I never reached the big roots below, never really loosened it...thank goodness!

Fortunately for both of us I had to work at 2.

I planted "jane" 7 years ago. BTW, I queried Neil Sperry thought facebook in the midst of my madness. Later got his reply that they are very unpredictable. Maybe this shock will help. Hope it doesn't hurt. I am definitely tired.

My sweet husband says I should go get a Saucer magnolia without a name and plant it in the hole. It really is a big fine hole.....grins. c

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 11:07PM
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PKponder TX(7b)

There you go! I was thinking, she's got that nice hole dug already, maybe another large plant!

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 4:22AM
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carrie751(z7/8 TX)

Cynthia, what a story and thanks for sharing it,.,...hopefully, to prevent some of us from making the same mistake. Have to admit that I can see humor in this, but then I wasn't the one doing the digging.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 8:21AM
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cynthianovak

It was funny, Carrie
What I learned: I am too emotionally immature to be trusted with a 57 year old body and a shovel. Fortunately I am only stiff today and while my back yard does not need another tree, and I know that I am in denial that it does...I am indeed fortunate that my husband says to take the truck and get a good one!

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 12:59PM
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carrie751(z7/8 TX)

What a wonderful husband.................so do it !!!!

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 1:07PM
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cynthianovak

I snapped a picture of my dog Dingus Monday when I was foolish enough to think I could move a tree. Only tonight do I see he was making fun of me. BTW I ended up with Black Tulip a new hybrid.

Here is a link that might be useful: Black Tulip Magnolia

    Bookmark   March 9, 2013 at 11:20PM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

Since I tend to move plants around like they were furniture I too enjoyed the saga of the immovable tulip tree. I'm glad to hear you got another one for the hole you laboriously dug; and what a beauty it is

    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 10:29AM
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PKponder TX(7b)

I'm so glad you got a new magnolia! It will be glorious!

I bet Dingus was really saying that it was time to go inside and find him a cookie :-)

    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 1:28PM
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carrie751(z7/8 TX)

Or perhaps, why don't you ever let ME dig a hole like that???

    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 5:26PM
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