Moving Acers (maples)
Posted: Mar-08-2005 at 2:53am
Hi I am new to the forum and would like to say hello, and ask a question please. I have a 5 year old Acer Palmatum, whic I would really like to move, only a metre, but it would make life so much easier ! My question is if I move it, what are the chances of survival, I really wouldn't like to lose it.
Posted: Mar-08-2005 at 8:56am
Hi Gardengirl, welcome to Rainyside. I see from your tag, you are out of the PNW. How far out? Fall is normally the best time to move an Acer, unless you are in an area where the ground freezes early. Do you get summer rain? A meter is not that far. Can you work around it? I have heard that Acers have very shallow roots and that is why they can be difficult to move. But it can be done. Do you know how old the tree is?
Posted: Mar-08-2005 at 9:29am
Welcome to Rainyside!
Rhonda and I recently attended a lecture put on by the Northwest Perennial Alliance by a man in Vancouver BC who moved a mature garden - from a very large yard to a rooftop garden in the heart of the city. He had plenty of time and money, by the way!
Anyway, for his mature Japanese Maples he dug around the drip line about a foot wide and several feet deep (cutting several main roots) and filled the trench with straw that he kept moist for a year. Tiny feeder roots grew into the straw and by the time transplanting time came, he could pull out the tree with no mjor roots in the way. Of course, he had lots of help. He didn't even need to "ball and burlap" the roots - they were very moist and happy. It was an incredible slide show.
You might not want to go to this much trouble but it can be done. Especially since the distance is so small. You might not have to actually dig it up but just slide it over. But I think root pruning it like this man did would certainly improve your chances for a survival. Be sure not to do it while it is in leaf.
Good luck and let us know what you decide.
Posted: Mar-08-2005 at 10:08am
Hi wanda and Jeanne, thanks for the advice. That guy must have lots of money ! We get very little summer rain here, that is my main concern and it can get pretty hot by mid May. I'm still not sure ! The tree, I reckon is around 7 years old in total.
Posted: Mar-08-2005 at 10:50am
pretty hot by mid-may is not us so our advice may not be best for you. if you tell us where you live, we can refer you to local resources which will offer regional advice more on target for your growing climate.
Posted: Mar-09-2005 at 7:56am
Wow, pretty cool info, Wanda. Very interesting. Good luck, gardengirl on whatever you decide to do! I don't know, Lisa, the way we are going we may be "pretty hot" by Mid May too!
Posted: Mar-09-2005 at 8:40am
lol jeanne, too true for us this year. but i'm talking the norm when summer doesn't start until july 5th.
My wife and I bought a couple of acers. Someone told us "they are just a maple, anyway". Having come from the midwest, the maples along the rivers grew like weeds!
So, we thought nothing about it and figured the ones we bought and the two we moved in the yard that appeard to have come up wild, would survive just fine.
They all died.
The nursery guy said the ones we bought did not have sufficient roots to absorb enough water during the heat of the summer, and they basically died of thirst even though we watered frequently. The ones we moved we cut too much of the roots off and they couldn't handle the stress and probably couldn't get enough water, either.
They need lots of water when planted/transplanted, but even if you water a lot, it may not be enough in the heat of summer depending on the size. It is very important that there is enough root system to sustain the size of the tree.
If you must move it, do it in the fall when the tree is less active. And, if it is of any size at all, you may want to seriously consider having a professional move it for you.
Just my experience.
Thanks Elad for that. Wanda I live in s.w. France, I asked the question here as I often read the forum and as french is my 2 nd language, I don't find it easy to read/write french, so I tend to stick to english speaking sites I'm on a tight budget so really don't want to lose the tree, so I think I may not move it now , on what Elad said.
i'm unfamiliar with climate or growing conditions in sw france but from what you've said, waiting until the tree is dormant in fall would be best.
sorry to hear about your unsuccessful maple moving experiences, elad.
It would be better to move a tree in fall, just as the winter or cooler season arrives. I'd prefer that over spring. On the other hand, if you wait one more year, the tree will be larger yet. You could root prune now, and wait until next fall.