Return to the Japanese Gardens Forum | Post a Follow-Up

When is a good time to transplant a Japanese Maple?

Posted by Jojan 5 (My Page) on
Sat, May 28, 05 at 3:52

We have a red JM tree that is four years old. It is 4 feet tall, spreads about 40" but is just planted in the wrong place. (I'm sorry, I don't know what 'type' (name of tree) it is, just know that it is a JM tree). The tree is planted right next to a Red Cedar tree (in a row of Cedar trees along our driveway). The tree is healthy, doing well where it is, but it will get bigger and then become crowded.
The Cedar tree is over 50 years old and huge or I would consider cutting it down and leaving the JM where it is.

Can the JM tree be root pruned and then moved?
Should it be pruned drasticly and then moved?
What is best for this tree so it can be moved?
TIA :>)

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: When is a good time to transplant a Japanese Maple?

Begin root pruning at the size of root ball you can physically handle through this season with a sharp spade and move it either after the leaves have fallen in the fall or before the buds fatten up in the spring. Unless you are very skilled don't try to move it without a season of root pruning or with leaves on.

RE: When is a good time to transplant a Japanese Maple?

Thank you bamboo! :>)

RE: When is a good time to transplant a Japanese Maple?

  • Posted by Ron_B USDA 8 WA (My Page) on
    Sat, Jun 4, 05 at 13:42

In Zone 5 it should be end of winter. Root pruning can be tricky, it might be better to just cut the roots once, at the time of transplanting. In particular, you don't want to cut the final ball as small as when it was pruned, as you will then be cutting the new roots off.

big mistake

My landscaper transplanted my Japanese Maple at the beginning of the summer when it was full with leaves. It's almost a year later now and the tree looks dead. Is there anything I can do to save it?

RE: When is a good time to transplant a Japanese Maple?

I know this goes against all that is written here on the subject, however, I must transplant my Japanese Maple now, in the month of August. Due to a major construction project the tree must be moved. I dont want to get rid of it, it is just in the way. I am planning on hitting it with SuperThrive ( and we will be using some heavy equipment to make as large a root ball as possible. I dont know the exact age of the tree, however it has been in its current planning for approximately 6 years. The canopy is 9-10 feet at its widest point. We will be making an approximate 48-60 inch root ball. Other than telling me not to move it now, is there any other advise one can give. I have photos available if that will help. This is a multi trunk.

RE: When is a good time to transplant a Japanese Maple?

ok.. i have a JM tree that has been at my house since i was born.. (18 years) and befor that even. the tree has been the for atleast 35 years.. and is extreamly sentimental to me. i jsut can bear to lose it.. but the county id putting a water line in and is going to dig it up or something to it.. basically destroy it.. and i jsut cant bear it.. the tre is about 10ft tall and about 6 feet at its widest point.. is there any thing at all that i can do or they can do?

RE: When is a good time to transplant a Japanese Maple?

  • Posted by cdjr z6 OH (My Page) on
    Mon, Nov 20, 06 at 14:30

I know this is maybe a month late, but if the county hasn't dug up your tree yet, then you might want to consider hiring someone to move it with a tree spade. The link gives some info .
I've had four larger nursery trees planted using a tree spade and all have thrived. Not inexpensive but you may find it worth it to save a tree that has sentimental value.

Here is a link that might be useful: Tree spade info

japanese maple in barrell

when is it best to transplant a jm when grown in a barrell for about 4 years now? they are not doing to well this year.

RE: When is a good time to transplant a Japanese Maple?

I have one Japanese Maple that was planted too close to some dogwood trees and I want to move it. The tree is in the low mountains of NC (1428 ft above sea level) about 25 miles north of Spartanburg, SC. The tree is about 6/7 ft high and about 3/4ths in. in diameter about 3 ft above the ground.
One more Japanese maple question; I have one at my home in Summerville, SC (25 miles from the coast, near Charleston, SC). This tree is gowing in a barrel about 2ft in diameter. The tree is about the same size as the other. The trunk is about 3/4ths of an inch thick and the tree is about 6/7 ft tall and spread out beautifully before the leaves dropped. When is it safe to transplant?

 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!

Return to the Japanese Gardens Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.

Learn more about in-text links on this page here