Hi! I recently transplanted an established viburnum in my yard (it was growing through the fence and needed more space). I had a gardener dig it up with a pretty large root ball. We moved it early April. All the flowers died/turned black, and a lot of the leaves. Some leaves are still green-ish, but the plant does not look healthy. I know it's a big shock to move a plant. I really hope I didn't kill it! I love this thing. I gave it some root boost after the transplant and have been sure to keep it watered, but not too wet... do you have any suggestions to help me nurse it through this transition? with thanks,
Montgomery County Maryland
It is usually recommended to root prune a large shrub about a year in advance. This encourage new roots to grow at the cuts. When transplanting a large shrub many of the feeder roots can be damaged in the process. The plant also needs time to adjust to the site and the planting and produce new roots.
Make sure the shrub was not planted too deeply. Plant the shrub with the top of the root ball slightly higher than the existing soil line. This is helpful when planting in heavy clay soils that drain poorly. Check the soil drainage. We have had a lot of rain and if the drainage is poor and you added a lot of organic matter to the planting hole, this can hold moisture and reduce soil oxygen and promote root rot. If the soil has a very high percentage of clay or sand, mix in compost across the eventual root zone of the planted trees.
Check the soil moisture at least once a week. Soil should be damp to the touch. Mulch should be no thicker than several inches and keep away from the base of the trunk. Take a look at our website on planting and the transplanting process.