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When , if possible, and how to move tree peonies

Posted by birdinthepalm (My Page) on
Tue, Nov 16, 10 at 7:54

I've read a number of sites on this subject already, but still wonder about the process, and how deep a root ball is required since one site says the roots are as deep as the plant is tall and don't wish to have such a deep extensive root ball to dig up, and also since the roots are said to grow in the fall is it too late now in Nov. to move them as long as the ground has not yet frozen in my area?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: When , if possible, and how to move tree peonies

Last year I had to move one that had been there for at least ten years and was pleasantly surprised with roots smaller than I ever had on my herbaceous peonies. I only had to move a few feet and I think it did better this year, in its new location, probably due to soil being worked. Al


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RE: When , if possible, and how to move tree peonies

I'd guess the root systems vary a great deal depending on soil type and whether it's moist enough deep enough to grow those supposed very long roots, and that answer is very encouraging!


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RE: When , if possible, and how to move tree peonies

Last fall, I had to move a 'Kamata nishiki' (Japanese TP) and a 'High Noon'(Saunders). Both were 6-7 year-old and well established. The roots were not exactly 'root-ball' shape (no fibrous root mass), but rather similar to the herbaceous peony roots. Fleshy, fat and thick and very long roots (depend on the maturity) were very hard to dig out without lot of damage.
This spring and summer, they both very struggled let alone flowering. I doubt they'll flower next spring the way they look now. They're still alive. But boy, when they say peonies 'hate to be disturbed', they're not kidding.

I've moved tree peonies before. But usually when they're still young. The impacts were much less severe.


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RE: When , if possible, and how to move tree peonies

Last fall I moved a TP that was at least 50 years old. Belonged to a now deceased WWII veteran. It was the showpiece of a lovely yard that had fallen into disrepair. It was also my introduction to TPs. The root mass was huge (4 feet by 4 feet) and it was an all day project. I loosened the soil around the leaf edge of the plant using a pitch fork and gradually loosening and using he pitchfork as a fulchrum to pull the rootmass out. I only had one piece fall off and it had roots, so I replanted it also. Both are doing fine. I will attach a picture of the transplanted mother plant. It is covered in red buds that are enlarging as we speak. I will post a picture this spring of the blooming plant.


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