Digging up a Blue Spruce.

Discussions about propagating from cuttings, seeds, air layers etc. Going on a dig (Yamadori) or thinking of importing? Discuss how, when and where here.

Digging up a Blue Spruce.

Postby mountain troll » October 15th, 2016, 5:35 pm

I have just been offered this Blue Speuce to dig up from some bodies front yard. I know it should be done in the cooler months but I'm in the Blue Mountains so I'm guessing it shouldn't stress it too much.How much of the existing foliage should I remove to help it survive. I will be doing it early tomorrow morning otherwise it will be going to the tip.
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Re: Digging up a Blue Spruce.

Postby shibui » October 15th, 2016, 6:11 pm

I don't think spruces are the easiest to transplant but, given the alternative, I'd give it a go - nothing to lose.

Cut at least half of the top off, maybe a bit more.
I would look at the first fork. Work out which would give the best trunk shape and cut the other one off - just leave a short 1cm? stump for the moment.
Continue up the remaining trunk in a similar way - when you get to a major fork, decide which side will look best and cut off the other one. That should reduce the top enough to transplant.
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Re: Digging up a Blue Spruce.

Postby mountain troll » October 15th, 2016, 6:17 pm

Yeah I was thinking of losing the right branch altogether and leaning it for a windswept look, that way I may have a better chance. I know they don't like being moved in warmer weather and that if you prune the roots and foliage at the same time they bleed a lot of sap but I got nothing to lose so what the heck.
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Re: Digging up a Blue Spruce.

Postby Firecat » October 15th, 2016, 11:56 pm

Hard to move.
I'd do the trench job first.
Spade around perimeter out as far as the dead or dull grass area.
Deep 'full' spade depth a circle with spade facing out from tree... 'roots cut'
Lean spade back towards tree hard all the way around..
Fill narrow trench created with water and leave for a couple of weeks.
Water should naturally wick under tree softening up subsoil.
Another shovel slice along trench and you should pop out with a degree of difficulty.
Prune under root ball as there will still be vertical descending roots.
(Don't tear them out)
Or just cut off the branch you dislike and then....... 'the above'.
They are so slow it would be sorry to say "Months before you knew if it survived".
It doesn't look like a graft so you way in front :imo:

Myself I don't like them but this tree just looks as if it needs a pot.
A BIG ONE

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Re: Digging up a Blue Spruce.

Postby KIRKY » October 16th, 2016, 7:31 am

Nice score if it survives. Try and get as much root ball as you can, without loosing too much soil. Looking as the pic looks like the left fork could make a very nice Literati as for cutting leave yourself a bit of a stump you may want to create a jin for movement. You can always remove it later. Good luck with it.
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Re: Digging up a Blue Spruce.

Postby mountain troll » October 16th, 2016, 4:05 pm

Well the deed has been done, I removed about 2/3 of the foliage and managed to retain a nice large root ball and took a fair bit of soil with it too. Fingers crossed I didn't managed to kill it, I think that it will pull through
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Re: Digging up a Blue Spruce.

Postby mountain troll » October 16th, 2016, 4:10 pm

Here's a pic, pretty happy with it.
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Re: Digging up a Blue Spruce.

Postby Daluke » October 16th, 2016, 4:52 pm

Good luck.

Are you treatimg it with something to help minimise shock?
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Re: Digging up a Blue Spruce.

Postby mountain troll » October 16th, 2016, 5:27 pm

Yes I soaked the rootball prior to planting.
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Re: Digging up a Blue Spruce.

Postby Daluke » October 16th, 2016, 6:28 pm

What product did you use (I'm looking at digging a few similar trees)?
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Re: Digging up a Blue Spruce.

Postby Watto » October 16th, 2016, 7:16 pm

Congratulations, in these situations I always say dig it! What is there to loose? I see these type of digs as trying to save the life of a tree and as such you are doing a community service.
The most difficult part now is to leave it alone for a year or two so it will recover properly.
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Re: Digging up a Blue Spruce.

Postby mountain troll » October 16th, 2016, 7:29 pm

I used a weak solution of seasol daluke, I wil follow up with foliage spraying over the next week.
Yes watto, it is very satisfying mowing it might have another chance.
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Re: Digging up a Blue Spruce.

Postby Firecat » October 16th, 2016, 8:50 pm

And now we wait. :fc:
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Re: Digging up a Blue Spruce.

Postby sirklefish » March 10th, 2017, 10:07 pm

Hey mountain troll, I am a blue mountains local also! How's the tree going? Just picked up a nice picea glauca myself and excited about future prospects!!

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