I should write a series of articles on this question because to answer it thoroughly I need to show you all the considerations when looking at transplanting. For this short article, here are two that top the 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 the photos is the art of “drum-lacing”. This process is more often 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. I would estimate the cost to move this plant at approximately $300. Now this would be totally justified because:
- 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 $400 (probably more) and with installation would be over $700. 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.
Is transplanting a part of your business? If so, does it happen on most of your jobs? Let us know in the comments.