Question: I want to transplant some shrubs and trees to make room for a new driveway. When should I do it, and how can I make sure they survive the move?

Answer: It’s always best to transplant woody plants while they’re dormant, that being during the winter. You should probably root-prune them with a sharpshooter spade several months before you dig them. Slice through the lateral roots at a point where you’ll be making the eventual cut, but don’t attempt to sever the tap root. By cutting the lateral roots, you’ll encourage new root growth within the eventual soil ball. Remember always to prune plants back by 30 to 40 percent after you dig and move them. You can do that, either by removing some of their tallest branches, or by thinning them out, or both.

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