How To Transplant An Old Conifer?

Last updated on October 23rd, 2023 at 08:34 pm

Conifers (and woody plants) are regularly replanted in nurseries at intervals of about 3 to 5 years (the expert calls this “verschult”) so that they form compact fiber root balls and are ready for sale at any time.

When conifers stand in the same place for a long time, they sprout – depending on the species – a deep-reaching root system consisting of only a few strong main roots. They will then not grow back after transplanting, as these main roots must be severed when digging.

How To Transplant An Old Conifer?

If your conifer has been growing in the same place for a long time, transplanting could be difficult and even cause the plant to die. Still, it comes down to a trial and error.

How To Transplant An Old Conifer?

This is how you replant the old conifer tree


Untie the branches and cut them free so that the root space is easy to reach. Then, using a sharp spade, you poke out a root ball that has the circumference of the shrub (complete eave area). Of course, you have already prepared the new planting hole and watered it a little. After transplanting, the root ball must be well mudded*, this will promote root development. Pruning of upper shoots helps the growth, because the reduced root system can then better supply the shrub. If branches turn brown and dry out and the plant dies, you will unfortunately have to replace the conifer with a new one.

(*Basic: Mudding means placing the root ball completely in the new hole, pouring soil over it and watering it. Pour soil over it again and water again until the roots are firmly enclosed in substrate. Then the soil is trampled and the plant is stable in the new location).

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