Pittosporum Transplant Info: How To Transplant Pittosporum Shrubs

Pittosporum Transplant Info: How To Transplant Pittosporum Shrubs

By: Laura Miller

Pittosporum represents a large genus of flowering shrubs and trees, many of which are used as interesting specimens in landscape design. Sometimes it becomes necessary to move landscape plants to make room for building additions, hardscaping features, or to ease overcrowding in the garden beds.

Transplanting pittosporum shrubs to a different location can save money and preserve a favorite tree or shrub. However, the larger the shrub, the heavier and more difficult it will be to transplant. If the size of the shrub is beyond the capabilities of the gardener, it’s wise to hire a professional.

So before undertaking the task of moving a pittosporum, gardeners should first ask themselves “Can I transplant pittosporum?”

How to Transplant Pittosporum

Most gardeners have the ability to transplant smaller pittosporum shrubs. The cardinal rule when transplanting evergreens is to move the plant with the soil intact. This involves forming a soil ball which is large enough to contain both fibrous and feeding roots. An undersized root ball can increase transplant shock and reduces the tree’s ability to recover.

Here’s additional pittosporum transplant info:

  • Pre-planning – Move pittosporum when they are dormant. Early spring, prior to budding is the best time for transplanting pittosporum shrubs, but it can also be done in autumn. Root prune during the dormant period approximately six months prior to transplanting pittosporum shrubs. This reduces transplant shock by encouraging root growth near the trunk. Root prune in the fall for spring transplanting or in the spring for fall transplanting. Choose a new planting location that meets the pittosporum specific requirements. Test the soil and amend if necessary.
  • Preparation for Moving a Pittosporum – Before digging, tie up the lower branches of the plant to expose the soil under the tree or shrub. Label the north side of the tree so it can be replanted in the same direction. Mark the soil line on the trunk to ensure it will be replanted at the correct depth.
  • Digging the Pittosporum – Begin by using the shovel to mark a circle approximately 12 inches (30 cm.) from the edge of the anticipated root ball. Insert the shovel into the soil along the perimeter of the circle and cleanly cut the roots. Next, dig a trench around the outer diameter of the circle. Use hand shears to cut large roots. When the trench is the appropriate depth for the root ball, use the shovel to sever the roots underneath. Continue working in a circle around the shrub until the root ball is free.
  • Moving a Pittosporum – Protect the root ball from drying out and crumbling during the move. If necessary, wrap the root ball in burlap. Dragging the shrub/tree to its new location can damage the root ball and lead to transplant shock. Instead, use a wheelbarrow or place it on a tarp when moving a pittosporum.
  • Transplanting Pittosporum Shrubs – Replant the pittosporum as soon as possible. Ideally, prepare the new location prior to digging up. Make the new hole twice as wide and the same depth as the root ball. Remove the burlap and place the plant in the hole. Using the label marked north, align the pittosporum in the correct orientation. Make sure the it is straight, then begin backfilling around the root ball. Gently tamp the dirt with your hands as you refill the hole. Remove the ties holding the branches.

Care of Transplanted Pittosporum

Watering is critical during the reestablishment period. Keep the root ball consistently moist but not saturated.

Apply 2 to 3 inches (5 to 7.6 cm.) of mulch under the tree to preserve moisture and prevent weeds. Avoid piling mulch directly against the base of the trunk.

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Can you transplant Pittosporum?

The pittosporum species of plants grows as shrubs and trees in Sunset's Climate Zones 8 through 24. A reliable and quick way to propagate pittosporum is from semihardwood cuttings taken in late summer or fall. Semihardwood bends but does not break when bent and comes from the current year's growth of the shrub.

Furthermore, how do you transplant camellias? Dig a 3-inch-wide trench around the camellia plant with a shovel in late fall or winter while it is dormant. Position the trench underneath canopy's perimeter and work outward. Dig down to a depth of 8 to 12 inches. Push the shovel's blade through any roots to slice through them as cleanly as possible.

Similarly, it is asked, when can I transplant a large tree?

When to Move Big Trees You can transplant mature trees either in fall or in late winter/early spring. The tree transplant has the best chance of success if you act during these periods. Only transplant mature trees after the leaves fall in autumn or before bud break in spring.

How do you dig up a tree to replant?


  1. Evaluate whether the tree is healthy enough to move.
  2. Wait until the tree's dormant season to replant it.
  3. Remove the tree from the ground.
  4. Wrap the tree's root ball in burlap.
  5. Keep the root ball intact while you move the tree.
  6. Replant the tree immediately after removing it.

Choose a Location

Before transplanting, determine whether the tree or shrub likes sun or shade, as well as what its spacing and watering requirements are.   Your new location should meet the needs of the plant as much as possible. For instance, do not locate a plant that craves water next to one that prefers dry conditions. Their needs will be incompatible.

Calculate the Size of the Root Ball

Estimate the width and depth of the root ball (roots plus soil) by doing a bit of exploratory digging around the plant. The width of the new hole should be twice that of the plant's root ball. However, you might want to keep the hole's depth a bit shallower than the root ball to avoid puddling and rotting, especially if your soil has a lot of clay in it.

Dig the New Hole

Dig your new hole before you dig up the tree or shrub. It's important to move the plant to its new home and get its roots covered as soon as possible after you dig it up. The longer the roots remain exposed, the more stress that's put on the plant. When you reach the bottom of the new hole, resist the temptation to break up the soil at the bottom. You might think this will help the plant's roots penetrate deeper, but it actually causes the tree or shrub to sink, inviting rot.

Dig Around the Plant

Begin digging roughly 3 feet out around the perimeter of the tree or shrub. Get a feel for where the central mass of roots lies. The idea is to keep as much of the root ball intact as possible. But with large plants you might find it hard to move the entire root ball because it will be very heavy. It's often OK to cut through some roots on large plants with a sharp shovel or pruners. Be sure to make a clean cut, which helps to prevent disease.

Transfer the Plant to a Tarp

Once you have removed enough soil from around the sides of the plant, you will be able to slip your shovel under it and begin to loosen the plant's grip on the soil below it. After it is loose spread a tarp on the ground nearby, and gently move the plant onto the tarp. With larger specimens, you might need two or three people to help lever the root ball out of the ground.

Move the Plant to Its New Hole

Using the tarp as a sled, drag the plant to the new hole. Gently slide it into the hole, and adjust it so it's upright. The plant should be at the same level (or slightly higher) than it was in its old location. Shovel the excavated soil back into the hole. Firmly tamp down the soil and water as you go to eliminate air pockets, which can cause the plant to shift. Finally, mound the soil in a ring around the plant, forming a small ditch to catch water. This will help keep the roots watered until the plant becomes established.

In the past, the standard advice was to blend peat moss or compost with the soil before filling in around the transplant. Now, many experts believe the fill soil should be identical to the surrounding soil. This will encourage roots to explore outward rather than remaining confined in a small area of unnaturally rich soil.

Care for the Plant

Spread a 3-inch layer of landscape mulch around the transplant. But keep the mulch a few inches away from the base of the tree or shrub to promote air circulation and to discourage rodents from nibbling on the trunk. (Rodents become emboldened by the cover mulch provides.) Then, water well. Frequent watering is essential when transplanting shrubs and trees, especially during the first summer.

Uprooting plants if you’re moving on

When you’re moving house, you can’t plunder your old garden, much as you might be tempted. But if you have a few treasured plants that you really can’t live without, dig them up, pot them and get them off the site before you even bring the agents round for a look.

Otherwise, let prospective buyers know that you’ll be taking them with you. But a garden goes with the house – and half the fun of moving is creating a brand- new landscape at the new place, so why try to recreate the old garden again anyway?

Pittosporum Care

Pittosporum care is simple, but if you’re growing it in a cooler zone, you should know its minimum temperature tolerance is variable, depending on the cultivar you’re growing.


Feed the plant with a balanced slow-release fertilizer in spring. Follow label directions for dosage rates to avoid over-fertilization.

Mulching the plant in spring with composted leaves or aged manure is also beneficial.


Pittosporum plant requires regular light trimming and pruning to remain in your desired shape, size, and appearance. Use sharp scissors to cut off damaged, dying, or diseased branches from the bush. If you want to do heavy pruning, do when its blooming period ends.

Pests and Diseases

No serious disease affects pittosporum plants but regularly inspect for pests like aphids, red spider mite, cushion scale, and pittosporum suckers.

Watch the video: Pittosporum tenuifolium Silver Sheen