How to Transplant a Laurel Hedge

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Water the hedge for two days prior to planting.
Water the hedge for two days prior to planting. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Laurel hedges are popular for creating borders and privacy hedges. Laurel plants grow up to 10 feet in height, which can cause problems in some areas of the yard where they are shading grass or ornamental plants. You might need to transplant your laurel hedge to increase sunlight in some areas. The best time to transplant a laurel hedge is in the fall before the ground freezes or in the spring when new buds are forming.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Measuring tape
  • Saw
  • Burlap sack
  • Wheelbarrow

Walk out into the yard to find a planting location to plant the laurel. It is important to choose and prepare the new planting site before digging up the laurel to prevent its root system from drying out. Pick a location that receives partial shade or full sunlight. Shady locations raise the risk for diseases.

Dig a planting hole for the laurel that is 12 inches wide and 6 inches deep. Make sure the planting hole is far away from other plants. For example, small laurel hedges need 6 to 8 inches of space between plants, medium-size hedges need 18 to 36 inches of space, and large laurel types need 6 feet of space.

Wrap a measuring tape around the diameter of the trunk. Multiply the number by 12. You need 12 inches of root ball for every 1 inch of trunk. For example, if your laurel has a trunk diameter of 4 inches, you need to dig a trench around the plant 48 inches away from the plant to get the roots. The trench must be 15 to 24 inches deep.

Push the laurel's root system through the soil with a shovel. Cut any stubborn roots with a saw. Place the hedge on its side, and wrap a moist burlap sack around its roots. Set the plant in a wheelbarrow to move to its new location.

Measure the rootball, then increase or decrease the size of the planting hole so that it is twice the size as the diameter of the roots. Add or remove soil from the hole. Plant the laurel hedge at the same depth as it was in its former location. Set the hedge in the hole, and pack soil around its base. Water the laurel it its base.

Tips & Warnings

  • Fertilize your laurel hedge in the spring and summer months with a slow-release fertilizer.
  • Avoid planting the laurel hedge in a location that will not accommodate its mature height and width.

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