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River birches I planted several years ago have gotten big and are casting too much shade over my peonies so I need to move them. Do I wait for the foliage to die off before I transplant or can I move them now?
Hmmm. Well we are into freeze mode up here but you are probably still warm. I doubt it would hurt to move them now though. You can't have much time left in your warm season. Surely it snows even in Arkansas. Also I guess it depends on how high you are.
then I would probably wait til then to give your peonies time to really build tubers. But I don't think you need to wait til they entirely freeze. I have cut all mine down and see little red pips getting ready for next spring. Always heartening when the garden looks so bare and desolate. Will be glad when the snow covers it.
I moved mine 10 days ago. I did the same thing last year and the two bigger ones bloomed (long established, but had been in more shade so few blossoms) this year. This year I moved those two and another old one. In all cases I got a lot of root but cut some, so it will be interesting to see what happens in the spring. There are 2 more that had been part of a very old plant that came up in pieces in spring 2011. This plant had been too close to the main faucet, so every spring DSO tromped all over it while turning on the water and setting up the hoses. I have never seen it bloom in 6 years. I sent the bigger piece off in a trade, and kept the two small ones. They have not bloomed yet. Maybe in 2013 I'll find out what color it is!
I moved one lg well established plant that normally would be super covered w/ blooms but not this year. Two others were smaller and only a few yrs. in the ground. I left two more in old location because they weren't in shade ...yet.
I think they may slow up in the blooms but they are super tough. I will be interested to see in the spring what, if anything, grows from a peony I divided (think "chopped up") this fall. I have another one that I left untouched so even if I slaughtered it, I still have a good one. Since it is Lemon Chiffon, that is a good thing.