What you should know if you want to move an Eastern redcedar

Redcedar saplings are numerous in open forest or under fence lines. The small ones are easiest to transplant. (Walter Reeves for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
Redcedar saplings are numerous in open forest or under fence lines. The small ones are easiest to transplant. (Walter Reeves for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Walter Reeves

Credit: Walter Reeves

Q: I have a cedar tree that is 6 feet tall and I want to move it to a different location. How can I move it successfully and when is a good time to move it? Eddie Dillard, email

A: Eastern redcedar, Juniperus virginiana, is a great native tree. The berries are loved by birds, and the foliage makes an excellent place for them to nest. They grow all over the Southeast. Their toughness results from a wiry, spreading root system that can anchor and find sustenance in most environments. Because the roots spread so widely, big trees are difficult to transplant successfully. In my experience, redcedar trees from 6 inches to 6 feet high are the best candidates for moving. Late fall through early spring provides the best transplanting weather. As long as you attempt to get most of the root system, typical digging and planting techniques will yield success.

Q: We had a nice stand of loropetalums in Marietta and would like to replicate a shrub like that here in North Georgia. I’ve read that this is not the ideal setting due to the potential of winter freeze. Do you think we should plant? Bob Bachus, Blairsville

A: The standard literature says loropetalums can survive in zone 7, where the low temperature could occasionally be 0 degrees. Last year, it was 12 degrees in Blairsville on Jan. 22. You can make an informed guess simply by touring local subdivisions that have been built in the past 20 years. The purple leaves of loropetalum are easy to spot. If you don’t see any, you can conclude that loropetalums may not like a cold Union County winter.

Q: I planted several Firepower nandinas in front of my home between some Soft Touch hollies. The nandinas are too tall for my taste. How low can I prune them? Jim Blaine, Loganville

A: A nandina plant consists of several stems coming out of the ground. Select a few of the tallest stems and shorten them by two-thirds. These stems will re-sprout at the lower height so the nandina does not have bare legs and it will be lower than the hollies on either side.

Q: Two years ago, some friends and I bought at a big-box store 50 crocus bulbs and planted them in a traffic calming island. We’ve never had crocus flowers, but the spot produces 2-foot-long leaves. Will we ever see crocus flowers? Barbara Ribner, Decatur

A: It’s tough to predict what will happen. I predict they will eventually bloom. Big-box stores aren’t famous for caring for their bulb displays. The crocus bulbs might have gotten too hot or too cold or too dry before planting. All would cause delayed or nonexistent blooming.

Walter’s email address is georgiagardener@yahoo.com. Listen to his comments at 6:35 a.m. on “Green and Growing with Ashley Frasca” Saturday mornings on 95.5 WSB. Visit his website, www.walterreeves.com, follow him on Twitter @walterreeves, on Pinterest, or join his Facebook Page at bit.ly/georgiagardener.

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