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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Tuesday - August 16, 2005

From: Flat Rock, IN
Region: Midwest
Topic: Transplants, Trees
Title: Transplanting Colorado blue spruce in Indiana
Answered by: Nan Hampton and Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

I live in Indiana. I have a Colorado blue spruce that I would like to transplant to a different part of my yard. What is the best time of year to transplant it? It is only about two foot tall.

ANSWER:

Either spring or fall is a good time to transplant. Of the two, fall might be a little better. However, since we are fast approaching fall, you might consider waiting until spring and prepare your tree for transplanting by encouraging it to grow more roots. You do this by cutting off the ends of the roots in a circle around the tree near the root ball. This causes the roots to put out many new rootlets at the cut to produce a larger root ball to ease the shock of transplanting in the spring. An article from Montana State University expands on this procedure and offers other advice about transplanting spruce trees. If you do decide to transplant in the fall, be sure to consider whether you are moving the tree to more exposed location that might cause stress from harsh winds and extreme cold after transplanting. If it gets really cold in your part of Indiana, be sure to heed the advice in the Montana article about mulching to protect the roots from frost heaving.

 

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