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Cracked root ball!

Posted by Practical_Perfection Washington (My Page) on
Wed, Mar 16, 05 at 22:04

Well we did it! We dug deep into our pocketbooks and had four 50 year old camellia "trees" moved to our new home. They were professionally dug up by hand. Each one had an enormous root ball about 5-6 feet across and 2-3 feet thick. They were wrapped in burlap and gently loaded onto a flatbed truck with a crane. Everything looked great.

Then the not-so-great thing happened.

When the trees (they are all 12-15 feet tall) were unloaded, one of them had some movement in the crown. It wasn't a lot, but all of the others were rock solid. The mover told me the root balled had slightly cracked but he thought it would live. He supported the tree with stakes and said it just needed to be left alone for a good long time.

Now for the really not-so-great thing...

The camellia with the cracked ball is not in right location. This mistake was entirely mine, and unfortunately it really can not permanently stay in the spot it's in (too much crowding of the house). I haven't told the mover yet because I'm afraid he'll yell at me! But I did speak with the crane worker and he thinks it wouldn't be a problem to come back and pick it up.

This is were I need your advise.

Would it be less stressful on this camellia to be left where it is for several weeks or months before it's relocated, or should I just have it re-dug, wrapped, and lifted out now?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Cracked root ball!

  • Posted by Ron_B USDA 8 WA (My Page) on
    Sat, Mar 19, 05 at 3:09

Crowding of the house? What, exactly, are you talking about here? I have to wonder if you are anticipating something that wouldn't really be an issue. You might be made more uncomfortable by killing the shrub than having it stay where it is.

RE: Cracked root ball!

If you are set on moving the camellia, then I'd do it sooner than later ... and real carefully so as to avoid that dirt from falling off the rootball! Really no use leaving the plant to establish new roots only to soon be digging it up and damaging them. Best of luck!


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