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Can I move a Berberis without killing it?

(9 Posts)
Cathpot Sun 05-Jun-16 20:03:23

I have a large Berberis which came with the garden, it's a bit lanky and outrageously thorny, but has very pretty orange flowers so I'd like to keep it. Problem is the kids' tree house/ platform thing is directly above it and it hangs out into the lawn where they run about. At the moment it's a bit like an opening sequence for casualty. Question is can I move it? If I can when is the best time? Also can I prune it hard before I move it as I don't even know where to start with the thorniness of it.

Kbear Sun 05-Jun-16 20:05:54

I have moved shrubs quite often, when they are not flowering, or actively growing, so prob end of summer BUT Alan Titchmarsh was known to say if you want to move a plant, move it, usually they are fine.... and who am I to argue with AT? I would say prune it back quite hard before doing so.

Disclaimer - I am not a professional gardener! lol

Cathpot Sun 05-Jun-16 20:07:23

Thanks- now I have someone to blame if it dies!

Ferguson Mon 06-Jun-16 20:21:32

I agree, it should be tough enough to move, if it is pruned first. Get as much root ball dug out as you can, and make sure it is water in well.

shovetheholly Tue 07-Jun-16 09:19:46

A lot of berberis are used in municipal plantings - which means they can take a hammering. Don't do it over summer, though, unless you want a nightmare of constant watering - wait til the weather is cooler and wetter in autumn and, as PPs have said, go in hard with the secateurs to reduce the size and water stress.

If it's a thorny one, you'll need proper gauntlets!! smile

Cathpot Tue 07-Jun-16 14:00:25

Thanks for advice. It is ridiculously thorny. I've pruned it before using very very long handled secateurs. I might try and move it to a gap on the boundary wall actually. Will weigh up chances of child landing on it this summer versus waiting until autumn to move it when I get back.

Kr1stina Tue 07-Jun-16 17:43:44

I assume it's Berberis Darwinii - evergreen, organge flowers in the late spring , shiny leaves and very prickly.

Better to move it the Autumn if you can. Dig a narrow trench around it now, this will encourage it to make new small roots . Before you move it, prune it by cutting back about a third of the old shots from the base, this looks better than cutting it all back by half and it will keep the elegant arching shape of the plant.

Unless it's tiny, moving it is a two person job . You need to wrap something around the rootball to stop it falling apart when you move it . And dig the hole it's going to first .

You might lose it but it's worth a try

Kr1stina Tue 07-Jun-16 17:47:00

This one

Cathpot Tue 07-Jun-16 18:02:10

Yes that's it Kr1stina, thank you for detailed advice- encouraging to see it surviving on top of a wall like that as that's where I would like it to go. Sounds like I should wait then.

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