Streambank Revegetation and Protection: A Guide for Alaska
Plant Care and Preparation

Root Pruning

Prepare transplants by root pruning plants in the spring, or if possible, an entire year before moving them. Select plants less than 5 feet tall. To root prune, place a shovel perpendicularly into the ground approximately 1 foot deep, slightly outside the drip line of the tree or shrub. Skip a shovel width, cut again and continue working in a circle around the plant. Root pruning causes roots to grow closer to the center of the plant and increases the success of the transplanting effort.

After waiting for root pruning to take affect, dig up the selected transplant. Keep as much soil and as many roots as possible with the transplant. Keep the transplant moist at all times. Trim some of the shoot to compensate for root loss.

Prepare a hole for the transplant that is slightly wider and deeper than the root ball. Place the transplant into the hole and backfill over the root system without covering the stem higher than the original soil depth. Slightly compress the soil, creating a shallow depression around the transplant. Water the plant generously to help reduce transplant shock.