Transplanting Mature Rose of Sharons

farmboy1(5)June 3, 2012

I posted this on the Hibiscus forum, but there doesn't look to be much action over there.

So the ad read Free, Rose of Sharon, must dig. I checked, and there were 5 mature ROS shrubs that needed to be dug out this weekend, or the contractors will be cutting them down on Monday.

Lucky me, digging out, transporting and replanting 5 large shrubs in one weekend.

The 5 are all 5-6 feet tall, look very green and healthy. They were located in front of a porch, in a strip about 2-3 feet between the porch and walkway. Not a great place for catching water. Decent soil up top, but the bottoms of the rootballs were in clay/rock from the initial construction. Now having dug them out, I was surprised that the leaves were drooping within an hour of their being dug. Is this normal?

I realize this isn't the ideal time to transplant anything, but I'm wondering what the chances of the shrubs doing well with consistent watering, etc. are. Any Hibiscus or ROS specific comments are very welcome.



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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Yes, they would be expected to wilt due to cutting of the roots while in leaf. This is a frequent outcome for digging established deciduous shrubs during the growing season. The leaves may now go on to shrivel. All you can do is keep the shrubs watered and mulched. And maybe rig up some temporary shading of the tops. New leaves may come out before fall.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2012 at 2:21PM
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You may have to dig out a substantial rootball.
I removed a very mature Rose of Sharon earlier this spring and we had a heck of a time getting the thing out. Granted, it was very old, but the main taproot went down four full feet and was easily four inches in diameter.
Major diggin'.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2012 at 3:23PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Hopefully they weren't left with the roots to bake in the sun, waiting for the digging to be finished. It's hard to say without knowing a bit more. I agree with the suggested shade & water advice.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2012 at 4:41PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

YOU AGAIN ...!!!!

will it ever cross your mind to find or buy ... SMALL THINGS???

and plant them in the right season

what happened to all of last years??? wasnt there a 50 foot oak.. etc ...


    Bookmark   June 3, 2012 at 4:51PM
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Yeah, major diggin. All five have been dug out and transported 40 miles to their their new home and planted and watered. I'll be able to hit the mulch dump tomorrow.

Rootballs were kept covered as much as possible, but a lot of dirt fell off during loading and moving. The smallest was about 80 lbs, the largest at 130. My good excuse for not working out this weekend...

All the water this week will be coming from my hose, the forecast is for light rain tonight, the rest of the week is clear. Ow.

Any suggestions for shading, as all are in locations that receive a lot if sun? Off the top of my head, I'm thinking of getting rolls of fiberglass screening to wrap them with. Better ideas are welcome!

Most of the big stuff I've dug out is doing good. The 12' burr oak never made it, but it wasn't possible to get a good rootball, was mostly tap roots. The 6' pear lasted about 4 months before it gave up. It's companion is fruiting this year. The little guys are doing well, but they are a long way behind the bigger ones that were dug out with good rootballs.

Thanks for all the useful commentary, it IS appreciated!

vince, aka water boy

    Bookmark   June 3, 2012 at 10:58PM
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MollyDog(6 PA)

Good for you Vince...keep on trying. My nephew landscaped his entire yard from transplants taken from my yard...many at inopportune times into not so hot soil. Not everything took, but several years he has a beautifully landscaped yard...many people stop and comment. I admire those who don't mind hard work and the challenge.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 5:59AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Nothing ventured, nothing gained. It sounds like you're doing what you can with what you have in the best way you know. One can't do any more than that.

For shade, anything is better than nothing. A folding table on its' side, a sheet tied to poles (shepherd hooks around?,) your beach umbrella, if all you can shade is the roots, that's worth doing, IMO.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 10:57AM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Something like burlap or nursery shade cloth supported on posts or stakes.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 1:45PM
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Thanks for the kind words and encouragement. I enjoy working on my yard (glutton for punishment), and the plants I get are often not easy to find at the stores, or often not at a cheap price, even for a small size.

The shrubs are all about 5' high, and at least 2.5-3' in diameter. I'm also going to check some local fabric stores to see what they might have and what it costs. They are all located in an area without large trees that is fairly breezy, and often has a west wind coming right out of the farm fields. It would be tough to build a good screen that would stand up to the wind, and I think I may end up wrapping them loosely in a sort of cocoon.


    Bookmark   June 5, 2012 at 12:41AM
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Okay, so they were all watered and mulched by Monday evening, and by Wednesday they were all draped in burlap. Thanks to bboy for the burlap suggestion, it was easy to find and drapes easily. The wilting seemed to have stopped once they were in the ground. Now they wait and see how they do. Be nice if Ma Nature helped out with some rainy days.

Any comments on how long they should stay wrapped up?

Thanks again for giving me yet yet another chapter in my plant education!


    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 1:12AM
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You could remove the shading when they start to flush some new growth. That will probably take somewhere between 3-6 weeks, I'm guessing.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 5:34AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Agree, just keep an eye on them. Pics? And where does one find burlap? I'm missing something I think...

    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 10:25AM
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Its kinda late and it sounds like they are past the initial shock, but what I would have done is cut off about 2 feet of each branch *before* digging. That way less foliage requires less roots to support it.

If you feel they are still struggling too much, you can still do that.

The opposing view will say that you don't want the plant to expend energy making new growth and healing pruning cuts because it should be spending its energy making new roots. I take the other view that it takes more energy to support the existing excess foliage.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 1:17PM
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