How to Transplant Pittosporum Trees

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Things You'll Need

  • Shovel

  • Twine or cords

  • Spading shovel

  • Transplanting shovel

  • Tarp

  • Transplant fertilizer

  • Pruning shears

The Pittosporum genus contains over 200 species of flowering shrubs and small trees. One of the most commonly grown species is Pittosporum tobira, or Japanese pittosporum, an evergreen shrub. It thrives in full sun or partial shade and it's moderately drought-tolerant. Pittosporum transplants easily and the best time to do it is in spring, prior to it producing new growth.


Step 1

Prepare the new planting area before digging up the tree. Remove weeds from within a 3-foot radius. Dig the planting hole so that the pittosporum will sit at the same depth at which it is growing. You may have to add or remove soil once the tree is out of the ground and you can see the rootball.

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Step 2

Tie twine around the pittosporum to hold the branches out of the way.

Step 3

Place the spading shovel with the face pointing away from the pittosporum, 1 foot away from the dripline. Insert the shovel into the soil as far as it will go. Pull the shovel toward you, pulling the soil with it. Repeat this process until you've dug a trench around the pittosporum. It should be 8 to 10 inches deep and wide.


Step 4

Insert the transplanting shovel, with the face toward the tree, into the trench and drive it under the tree, cutting the roots. Remove it and insert it again until you've worked your way around the tree.

Step 5

Push the pittosporum over on it's side, on top of the tarp and drag it to the new planting location.


Step 6

Add transplant fertilizer to the new planting hole, according to the rate listed on the package.

Step 7

Place the pittosporum's roots in the hole and begin backfilling it with soil. Stop periodically to tamp the soil down with the shovel to remove air pockets.


Step 8

Water the pittosporum slowly until the water puddles at its base and keep the roots moist while the tree becomes established in the new location.

Step 9

Prune off 1/3 of the pittosporum's branches to compensate for the loss of some of the root system.


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