Transplanting Large Oakleaf Hydrangeas
A few weeks ago, Michael moved out of his salon (he sold it back in December but the new owner let him rent it until April 1). I had planted various shrubs and trees on the strip behind his salon that separates the salon from another parking lot. He kept telling me that I should dig up two large oakleaf hydrangeas because they were so pretty and who knows what will happen to the plants.
In the meantime, a rather large Colorado Blue Spruce that I planted in our front garden the first year we moved into the house (1992) has continued to deterioate and several of the lower branches had died. I reluctantly decided to cut it down although this created a huge hole along our fence border. When the issue of the oakleaf hydrangeas came up, I thought that might be a good replacement for the spruce.
Transplanting is one of my least favorite jobs and I always worry if the plant(s) will make it. Since these hydrangeas were large, I had my doubts but I decided to tackle the job and get it over with. I cut the spruce down in sections (sad) and was aghast at the big hole it left (our privacy!).
The first hydrangea was the smallest of the two but it turned out to be the most difficult to dig. I finally got it out and transferred it to our house and planted it. The soil at the salon has lots of clay so fortunately the rootball stayed intact. I know it is best to prune back newly transplanted shrubs but I did not want to loose the height of the plants.
We have had several rainfalls since I moved the plants and in addition to that I have kept them watered. So far, so good! The leaves were just about to open and I have not noticed any change in them. I hope this is a good sign. It is best to move plants when they are dormant - during the winter months is best - and I know this was a bit too late. We will see what happens!