How to Transplant Junipers


The juniper shrub grows well in rocky, well-draining soil. This hardy evergreen can handle wind and poor soil, making it an ideal wind break or screen for a difficult area of the garden. Plant junipers in well-draining soil; wet roots and standing water will stress the plant. This shrub varies from a low-growing ground cover to a small tree, depending on the species. Junipers thrive in USDA planting zones 5 to 9 and the shrubs should be planted in full sun. The best time to transplant these evergreens is in the late summer or early fall.

Step 1

Prune the roots of your juniper two months before you are ready to transplant. To prune the roots, drive a shovel straight down 10 inches deep all around the root ball. To determine the size of the root ball, measure out 12 inches for every inch of trunk diameter. A juniper shrub with a 2-inch diameter trunk with have a 24-inch diameter root ball.

Step 2

Prepare the hole at the new planting site. Dig a hole that is 2/3 again as large as the the root ball of your juniper transplant. Break up the soil in the sides and bottom of the hole with a shovel to allow the roots to penetrate the new environment.

Step 3

Dig out the juniper using a shovel or garden fork. For large shrubs, get a few extra people to help. Drive the garden fork into the ground and pull back on the handle to lift the root ball from the soil. If multiple people are working on the transplant, space the garden forks equally around the root ball and pull up at the same time.

Step 4

Place the juniper in a wheelbarrow and transport it to the new planting site. Place the shrub in the hole so that it is positioned to the sun the same as it was in its former location. The shrub should be planted with the base of the trunk at the same level in the soil as it was in its original position.

Step 5

Push the soil into the hole around the root system. Push the dirt under and around all the roots, press down firmly to eliminate air pockets. Water the soil immediately after transplanting until the area is damp to the bottom of the root ball.

Step 6

Water every 10 days for the first three to four months after transplanting. Water the area to a depth of about 2 feet at each watering. If the weather is wet and rainy, additional watering may not be needed. To determine when more water is needed, dig a 4-inch-deep hole next to the trunk. If the soil is dry at the bottom, water the area.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel Fork Wheelbarrow


  • North Dakota State University: Transplanting Trees and Shrubs
  • North Carolina State University: Junipers In The Landscape

Who Can Help

  • The United States National Arboretum: USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map
Keywords: transplanting shrubs, growing shrubs, planting shrubs

About this Author

Eulalia Palomo has been a freelance writer with Demand Studio since 2009, writing for GardenGuides and eHow. She has studied herbal and alternative medicine, and worked as a landscape artist and gardener. Palomo is currently pursuing a Bachelors of Arts in liberal studies from Boston University Online.