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How to Transplant a Purple Smoke Tree

By Kelly Shetsky ; Updated September 21, 2017

Purple smoke tree is a small tree that grows with more than one stem. It grows well in USDA Hardiness Zones 5 through 8 and adapts to a wide range of soils including acidic, loamy, alkaline, sandy and clay as long as it has full sun. The tree turns to a smoky pink color in the summer. During the fall the flowers range from brilliant orange to scarlet. The leaves also change, starting out a medium blue-green color and turning red or purple in the autumn.

Dig around the purple smoke tree, giving it a wide berth. The goal is to dig it up out of the ground without damaging the roots. If you see roots in the ground, move the shovel farther out from the tree.

Wiggle the tree until the roots start to loosen. Lift it out carefully by the roots. Yanking on the trunk can damage the roots, so be careful.

Put the tree in a container or pail. Cover the root mass with water and allow to soak overnight.

Choose a planting location that receives full sun. The tree's fall foliage is enhanced when planted in a place with full sunlight and air circulation during the growing season.

Take into account how large the purple smoke tree will get as they usually grow up to 15 feet tall. Make sure there is nothing overhead that the tree may grow into, such as utility lines.

Dig a planting hole that is two times as wide and deep as the smoke tree's root mass. Place the tree straight up and down in the hole.

Fill in around the roots with a mixture of soil, sand and peat moss. The sand and peat moss will help make the location drain well.

Press down the soil as you fill in the hole to eliminate air pockets.

Water the purple smoke tree thoroughly to help lessen the trauma of transplantation.


About the Author


Based in New York State, Kelly Shetsky started writing in 1999. She is a broadcast journalist-turned Director of Marketing and Public Relations and has experience researching, writing, producing and reporting. She writes for several websites, specializing in gardening, medical, health and fitness, entertainment and travel. Shetsky has a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Marist College.