Forum home Garden design

Moving shrubs/trees from raised bed to ground

Hello - Am planning to get rid of my raised beds and borders and replanting shrubs and trees directly into the ground.  My question is can I just drop them to ground level in the same spot and if so, will I have to do any special preparation in order not to compromise the health of the plants or will I have to actually move them to another location in my (very) small garden?  

Thank you for your help.


  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 11,436
    What varieties of trees and shrubs are you moving, and how long have they been in the raised beds ?
  • Hello AnniD

    A pear tree that's around 15 years old (don't know variety).  It's about 5ft tall.  The shrubs are hebes, a spotted laurel and a hydrangea.  All more than 10 yrs old.

    Thank you
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 11,436
    Could be tricky in view of the length of the time they've been there, particularly in view of the pear tree. I'm no expert on trees but hopefully someone can advise. 
    Is there any chance of you posting a photo or two ?

    With regards to the others, my instinct is to remove the raised bed structure,  clear as much soil from the plants as you can and then attempt to lever them out keeping as much root system as you can. 
    I must be honest it sounds like quite a job. 
    You really want them back in the ground ASAP, but l'm wondering if it might be worth looking on the site as the opportunity for some new planting  :)
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 52,149
    Apologies if I sound thick here [no comments please!] but I'm not sure what you mean by dropping them to ground level. 
    It also depends on the height of the raised bed as to how difficult moving them will be, although I think @AnniD has the right idea re shifting the raised beds away.  :)
    You can certainly replant in the same area, and the shrubs can be dug up and moved without too much of a problem, but you'd be better cutting them back to dig them out. That can cause problems if there's severe frost in the offing, so it's better to wait if that's the case. Moist but benign conditions are the ideal, and that helps them establish more easily too.
    Many hebes don't react well to being cut back hard though, especially if it's then cold and wet, so it will depend on the size and variety with that. 
    I can't comment re the pear tree. That might be quite difficult  :/
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Yes, I thought of keeping as much of the soil around the roots as possible and being very careful. I just wondered whether I needed to change the soil or add compost to it beforehand or something similar. I'll carry on thinking about it then will just have to decide and go for it at some stage!!  :#    Thank you. :)
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 11,436
    No worries. I think your main problem will be getting the level down, and preparing the soil for planting within a comparatively short space of time to reduce the stress on the plants.
    I would certainly consider adding some kind of soil improver before replanting, even if it's something like blood fish and bone or chicken manure pellets that you just fork in lightly rather than something like bagged manure that you dig in. Anything to reduce the workload  :)
  • Hi Fairygirl 

    Thank you just wanted to make sure I wouldn't be opening them up to some sort of disease due to disrupting them and then putting them back in the same place/old soil, if that makes sense. 

    The raised border is about 1.5 to 2ft high and I wanted to just get rid of the wall and soil, drop it all to ground level and then dig holes in remaining soil and drop the shrubs in.  

    The raised bed (planter I suppose) is about 2ft high and is falling apart so wanted to just get of it and dig a hole in soil underneath in the same spot and drop the pear tree in it.

    If anything happens to them, I'll have an upset mum to contend with!! :#:#:)

  • Thanks AnniD

    It will be a bit of a job but it has to be done!! Time for a change and a shuffle around :):)
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 52,149
    No problem @triscka1 - I wasn't sure, but I thought it was something like that.  :)
    It's a fair old height, so there will be a lot of soil to disperse. Hydrangeas and laurels are pretty easy to work with, so there shouldn't be a problem as such, but it will be a fair bit of work, and if you're dispersing the soil in the general area, it'll naturally raise all of that. You might need to put some of it elsewhere, but you can use it over time to mulch around everything. Soil will naturally settle anyway. 
    Depending on how you're tackling it all, you might have to pot those shrubs temporarily, and if so, you can use some of that soil. 
    They'll take a while to settle and grow away, especially as they're mature and will need pruned back to aid the transplanting and recovery. It's a good time of year to do it though, weather permitting.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Yes, it's going to be a right old mess!! :/

    Thank you for the additional info.  It's appreciated.
Sign In or Register to comment.