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Snowflake Viburnum Move

Lititz, PA(Zone 6b)

I installed a Snowflake Viburnum last year and it grew a ton. It was only about 2' tall and has now grown to about 3.5' tall. The tag said 3-5' for growth but this guy is going to be bigger and will be too big for its location. I was thinking of relocating it but I saw on another site that they didn't appreciate being moved. Is this true? Does anyone have experience with these guys? Anything I can add to the new soil to relieve the transplant stress? I've heard good things about SuperThrive and I use Biotone now with good success. Any suggestions would be helpful, thanks!

Scott County, KY(Zone 5b)

If your viburnum has only been in place a growing season or two, I don't think it will resent you for relocating it.

You didn't say what size container (or B&B) that you started with. With that info, I could suggest the size ball (diameter) that you ought to strive for when moving it. I would do the moving in the dormant season if you can wait. If you can't wait, I'd thoroughly soak the plant and soil so that it is completely hydrated prior to doing the digging/moving, since you will be severing and leaving roots behind.

What you are calling Snowflake is probably a Viburnum plicatum var. tomentosum 'Summer Snowflake', right? It should be perfectly fine through this transplant, but if you feel better using one of those products - go for it. Decent loamy soil is pretty much all that plant needs to do its growing. It is not a miniature plant. Rather, it grows compactly and takes longer to get to full Doublefile Viburnum stature, compared to selections like 'Shasta' or 'Mariesii'. It is also a more erect plant rather than broad spreading - in my experience.

Here is a handsome 'Summer Snowflake' growing in Louisville - about 8' tall in 2006.

Thumbnail by ViburnumValley
Lititz, PA(Zone 6b)

I think the plant was in a 3C pot when I planted it. I would say that it's about 3x it's size since. I want to do the move July 5th as I have off that day for the holiday and I don't want this thing to grow another full season where it's at now. You are also correct in saying that it is a Summer Snowflake. I'm also going to transplant a Blue Baron Rhododendron in it's place and the Rhodi is on it's third season in the garden but I'm less worried about that as I don't think it would have an expansive root structure.

Scott County, KY(Zone 5b)

Aim for a rootball about 24 inches wide then, and don't worry if you don't get all of that - it should be big enough. That means start digging a couple feet away from the base of the plant all the way around, and work your way inward. 12 inches or more deep is what you should expect to dig to in order to get the downward roots separated.

Having a tarp, or burlap square, big old towel or bed sheet - something that you can use to wrap the ball or simply have under it to drag across the yard to the new spot - will pay huge dividends.

Lititz, PA(Zone 6b)

Sounds simple enough. I'm going to plant it in the yard and let it grow to its natural size :)

Thanks for the tips.

Scott County, KY(Zone 5b)

Good luck with the move. We'll expect a blow-by-blow (with maybe some cameo images) of the effort...

Lititz, PA(Zone 6b) got it! I'm going to do the move July 5th as I have off that day but the wife has to work :)

Lititz, PA(Zone 6b)

So the move isn't going very well. It's in the ground but all of the leaves are wilting. I have to admit though that a didn't water it prior to moving and the ball wasn't as big as I hoped. I didn't water it prior because I was worried about the ball being too heavy. It was only out of the ground about a half hour. The soil is good and it was mixed with Biotone. I have the water running on it now so hopefully she'll perk up or I'll have to start cutting off branches. I did prune some off near the bottom to help it out so we'll see. I have pictures and I will update more later.

Scott County, KY(Zone 5b)

Oh well.

At this point, DO NOT cut off branches " help it out..." You don't know which branches that the plant is going to try to support, and which losses it will cut. Let the plant indicate what it is going to do, lest ye choose wrongly.

Providing moisture in the heat of summer is the one thing you can do to help the plant resuscitate and grow some new roots. I hope your soil conditions are well-drained.

You can rig up some shade conditions so that at least full sun stresses can be mitigated. A few stakes in the ground, and any kind of cloth will do (big towel, old bedsheet, burlap, etc.). A few weeks out of direct drying sun will do your new transplant good.

Lititz, PA(Zone 6b)

Alright, so I have added some pics. I just went out and checked it a few minutes ago and all is well with it. There are no more wilted stems or flowers. I will have to monitor it closely tomorrow to see how it reacts to the sun. The second plant I moved was a Blue Baron Rhodi and that I watered for a half hour before digging it out. That move went great and I'm sure it will be happier in it's new spot. I just couldn't resist adding some new perennials around it as well :)

Thumbnail by Sequoiadendron4 Thumbnail by Sequoiadendron4 Thumbnail by Sequoiadendron4 Thumbnail by Sequoiadendron4 Thumbnail by Sequoiadendron4

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