How to Dig Up Magnolias


It’s common knowledge that stately magnolia trees (Magnolia grandiflora, which thrives in USDA plant hardiness zones 7 through 9) are native to the South, but experts in Garden Design explain that these trees can actually thrive in other parts of the country as well. In fact, some people enjoy cultivating magnolias in containers inside of climate-controlled rooms. These plants may vary in height from shrubs that are 15 feet tall to trees that are 80 feet tall, and their blooms are coveted for their beauty, colour, and scent. If the process is carried out properly, magnolias may also be transplanted after being dug up and moved.

Moving a Magnolia Tree

Magnolia roots, which are said to stretch out very far, make it much simpler to transplant younger and more manageable trees, according to the authorities at Garden Guides. The winter or the beginning of spring is the perfect time to transplant them into their new homes. First things first: using a pair of callipers, measure the circumference of the trunk where it meets the chest. Pick for trees with trunks that are little more than 4 inches in diameter, since this will provide you with the greatest opportunity for success.

Put a big piece of burlap in a wheelbarrow nearby, and then use a spade to dig a circle around the tree just beyond the drip line. Place the burlap in the wheelbarrow. Magnolia tree transplant shock may be prevented with proper root pruning, which will also assist the tree in branching out in its new position. Then, using a shovel, dig a second circle into the earth approximately three inches outside of the first circle that was used for root trimming. Put the shovel under the root ball of the tree, and then slowly tilt it backwards until the tree is lifted off the ground.

Place one hand on the trunk of the tree and the other hand below the root ball. Carefully remove it from the ground and set it down on the burlap, being sure to save as much of the dirt as possible. Roll the wheelbarrow to the new position once you have wrapped it in some twine and moved it.

The Transplant Process

To prepare the fresh land for planting, till it using a rototiller. The next step is to cover the area with a layer of compost or manure that is about 3 inches deep. Utilizing the rototiller, incorporate the organic material into the soil while also spreading it out across a larger region. When the tree is planted, this will guarantee that it has immediate access to the nutrients it needs.

The new planting hole should be somewhat larger than the root ball of the magnolia tree, but it should not be deeper. This is because you want to keep the same depth that the tree had when it was first planted. Put the tree into the hole by lowering it. After covering the root ball with soil to a depth of two inches, apply a layer of mulch made of either straw or wood chips.

After the tree has been planted safely in the ground, it needs to be watered often. It would be necessary for the earth to remain wet, but not muddy. The recovery time for a magnolia tree after transplantation is around one year. At that point, the new roots should have begun to take hold.

Magnolia Tree Care

If they are given the proper care, magnolia trees may survive for up to a century once they have established strong roots. The authors of Garden Design suggest that these trees are able to withstand a mild drought, although they note that younger trees would need more consistent watering.

You won’t need to fertilise your magnolia if it continues to develop and produce flowers as long as you keep an eye on it. You can consider doing so if the leaves on it are yellow or if it is not growing at all. Utilize a fertiliser with a slow release and hold off on applying it until the spring, when the leaves begin to emerge.

Remove any branches that are diseased, damaged, or crossing each other; however, you shouldn’t have to do this very often. You will end up with less blooms the next year if you don’t wait until the late spring or early summer to cut the blossoms. Because the blossoms of the magnolia tree are widely regarded as the most beautiful aspect of the plant, you will want to take care not to damage them in any way. They might be white, yellow, pink, or purple in colour, and their form can resemble a star or a tulip. Some of them are as large as saucers, while others develop into double-flowered plants.




Shears for cutting back bushes and shrubs Twine


Manure or fertiliser


Straw or wood chips

Straw or wood chips