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Moving a not-fully-established Acer Palmatum Sango-Kaku

I realise summer moves of Japanese Maples isn't a recommended practise, but given that this tree is pretty young (5'-6' high and fairly sparse / narrow) and has only been in the ground 11 months, is this something people on here would contemplate?

I want to move it now for a few reasons:

1. Moving in Feb would involve another 7 months of root growth / establishment and it is placed near other shurbs and a fence, so getting the roots out would get even harder.

2. It hasn't been in the ground a year yet (just coming up to a year) and it is possible to get it out with not too much root damage still.

3. It is in a spot which has the top of the tree getting hit hard by afternoon sun but the rest totally shaded, so the new top growth gets crispened and fried a bit whilst the lower limbs are growing slowly.

What do folk think?


  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 30,020
    I grew one of these in full sun in my Belgian garden and it was fine.  The trick was to have trellis panels covered in a rose and a clematis on the side of the prevailing wind and plenty of rich moist soil at the roots.

    If you dig yours up now you risk it failing as it will need very good prep before moving, a decent new planting hole with plenty of compost and regular watering over the whole summer while it settles in.   I would advise patience and move it in autumn immediately after all the leaves have fallen.   

    You'll still need to make sure you get all the root ball but it will then have 5 or 6 months to settle in and get its roots established again before they have to support new foliage.  
    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Too late, I moved it today. Fortunately the roots had barely grown since I put it in a year ago so there was virtually zero root damage in the move. The compost and soil mix in the new spot is far richer and less waterlogged with less competition, better drainage and far less competition for moisture and nutrient than the previous spot ... there is midday sun to the upper foliage but it is shaded for large parts of the day in a dappled sense.  The branch structure wasn’t perfect so if there is some dieback and I have to prune to regrow it won’t be the end of the world anyway, but I honestly don’t expect too much dieback.
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