Q:

How do you transplant Japanese maples?

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Quick Answer

In order to transplant a Japanese maple, PBS advises the gardener to dig a hole much larger than the root ball, use a mixture of existing and planting soil, support the tree during the planting and water it thoroughly. The best time to transplant this tree is when it's still dormant, because its limited root mass can grow without having to support leaves.

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Full Answer

When a gardener digs up a Japanese maple, he needs to keep the roots as intact as possible. Once the tree is removed, the gardener removes the soil from the roots by using gentle pressure. The next step is to choose a new spot for the tree. Young maples are especially vulnerable to full sun, so a spot needs to include some shade.

Then the gardener digs a new hole several times bigger than the root ball. The soil used to bury the roots needs to be a mix of new planting soil and existing soil. Using only fresh planting soil makes it too difficult for the roots to adjust properly to soil conditions. When planting, the tree needs to be supported by a stake. After planting, the gardener waters the tree thoroughly because there is the risk of the maple drying out.

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