Do I have any chances to move this thuja bush without killing it?

What is the best time of the year for this?

Any recommendations in terms of tools, procedure, root cutting, replanting?

(This is about the largest of the three along the driveway)

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This is the plant in 2007.

Plant in 2007


Certainly possible, some investigation is in order first:

  • the more the soil drains quickly the farther out the root system will spread. Take a space and trench around the perimeter of the plant. What kind of soil and how many roots do you find?
  • the older the plant the more established the root system. Five year old seedlings pop out like Lego. Twenty five year old plants don't move without a chainsaw and stumper. How old is the plant?


  • water the plant daily for a few days before the move
  • have the new destination dug out and ready. Planting high is fine where clay subsoil is close to the surface. Planting below the established ground level is not advisable
  • have a sharpened spade and loppers handy. Do not rip roots, cut them!
  • don't bother planting with bonemeal or any soil that is different than the existing local soil

After planting

  • water, water, water. This is the most critical part and is often forgotten. Particularly in summer temperatures cedars can dry out in a few days. Water daily for at least a few weeks. Greater success can be achieved by doing this work in the spring or fall.

If you like to dig this is a great project. Cedars like this can be purchased where I live for for $25. How much time you want to spend on one of the least expensive evergreen shrubs?

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