Is The Plant Worth Transplanting?

There are many considerations when looking at transplanting.  Let’s look at the top two on my list:

  • Percent chance of success: Generally speaking, certain plants make better candidates for transplanting than others.  In addition, one must consider all the surrounding conditions that the plant had been growing in.
  • Cost to value ratio: When you know the real costs of the transplanting process (including replanting), compare that to an appraised value of the plant.  At the very least visit a nursery and get an estimate for purchasing and installing a similar plant.

These two considerations should help you make an informed and practical decision.

I should mention too that sometimes plants have sentimental value and that can certainly weigh-in to your decision.

Illustrated in these photos is the art of “drum-lacing”.

This process is done completely by hand, however occasionally a machine might help dig the trench surrounding the root ball.

As you might suspect this method is a labor intensive process.

For example, I would estimate the cost to transplant the ‘Montgomery’ Blue Spruce pictured below at approximately $600 – $750 .

This is how you might justify the cost:

  • The plant, ‘Montgomery’ Blue Spruce, typically transplants quite well.  We know from the homeowner it was a smaller, nursery-grown plant installed about 5 years ago on this property.  These points give us confidence for a successful transplant.
  • The appraised value of the plant is at least $700 (probably more) and with installation would be over $1,000.  The value of this plant easily exceeds the transplanting cost.

The decision to transplant is not always this obvious and sometimes requires more analysis and contemplation.

Also, keep in mind that typically transplants are not guaranteed, whereas in most instances new plantings are.

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