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Transplanting trees

I HAVE two trees, a pohutukawa and a rimu, that are in the wrong place. They are not very big and I'm going to give them to a friend. Can you please tell me when and how to shift them?


NOW is a good time to shift them before they burst into spring growth. The pohutukawa will shift easily as they have a very tolerant root system. Rimu tend to have fewer roots so may suffer more shock.

The procedure is the same for both. How much soil and root system you take will depend on the size and height of the trees. As a guide, the diameter of the root system you take should be 10 to 15 times the diameter of the trunk. So if the trunk is 3cm in diameter you should take a root system about 30-45cm across.

Use a sharp spade to chop through the roots and lift the tree and root system, keeping as much soil around the roots as possible. The depth of the root system you take need only be about as deep as your spade. Wrap the root system to prevent it drying out and keep it intact. Tell your friend to replant the trees as soon as possible and to water them well. They may need staking for the first year or so until the new root system gets established, and watering over summer.

Weekend Gardener, Issue 156, 2004, Page 28

Reproduced with permission from the former Weekend Gardener magazine. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH.

Andrew Maloy Weekend Gardener

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