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How to Transplant a Holly Tree

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How to Transplant a Holly Tree

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Overview

Renowned for their deep-red berries and shiny dark green foliage, Holly trees provide beautiful accent pieces both indoors and outside, sprucing up an area with their yearlong color. Landscapers favor Holly trees for their low-maintenance and ability to stand out in the landscape. Holly trees also serve as topiaries and holiday decorations. Holly trees prefer full sunlight to partial shade. You may need to transplant your holly tree from a container to its permanent location outside, or to another location altogether if you are moving.

Step 1

Select a new location with the same characteristics as the tree's current site. Holly trees prefer full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil. Slightly acidic soils improve holly tree growth and development. Select a location protected from winds.

Step 2

Dig a hole as deep as the root ball and twice as wide. Hole depth is generally estimated by allowing 5 to 6 inches of soil depth for every 1 inch of trunk diameter. You will make necessary any adjustments to the hole size later. Add 3 to 4 inches of peat moss to the hole and mix it well with the soil.

Step 3

Wrap the holly tree in burlap, carefully pushing the branches towards the trunk. Wind lengths of tape or rope around the burlap to hold it in place.

Step 4

Dig a 2-foot diameter hole around the trunk of the tree. Dig deep enough to reveal the entire root system. Water the roots of the tree so they loosen their grip from the moist soil.

Step 5

Hold the tree trunk firmly and slowly pull it to one side. You may need to cut some roots off with a shovel to loosen the tree. Carefully place the tree in a wheelbarrow or cart and transport it to its new location. Water the roots thoroughly to prevent them from becoming dry.

Step 6

Check the size of the root ball and make any necessary adjustments to the hole. Lay the tree near you while you work.

Step 7

Lower the root ball into the center of the hole. Fill the soil around the root ball and tamp it down with your hands to remove air bubbles. Remove the burlap from the tree and water the soil around the trunk thoroughly.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Peat moss
  • Burlap
  • Rope or duct tape
  • Garden hose
  • Wheelbarrow

References

  • Conservation Volunteers of Northern Ireland: Holly
  • American Forests: The Festive American Holly
Keywords: holly tree, transplant landscape, transplanting trees

About this Author

Tanya Khan is a freelance author and consultant, having written hundreds of thousands of words for various online and print sources. She has an MBA in Marketing but her passion lies in giving her words wings.