How do I decide when to transplant and trim a Smokebush?

by Mar

I want to move it and it quite tall and leggy. I prefer a different location and more bush than tree.

  4 answers
  • Jan Marie Jan Marie on Aug 21, 2018

    When I moved my Smoke bush I waited until late fall. After moving it I severely cut it back (4 inches from the ground). I waited until spring to fertilize it. The bush grew back nicely. By severely cutting it back each cut branch sprouted several new branches. If I had only cut the bush back halfway I would have ended up with a bunch of new growth on a long leggy stem. The new compact bush will give you the chance to start over and shape it more to your liking. I used this same method on really old lilacs, too.

  • Catherine Tonetti Catherine Tonetti on Aug 21, 2018

    Hi Mar,

    Basically you can trim a bush whenever you want, but Ideally after it has blossomed is the best time. In terms of transplanting, I would suggest you give a hard prune and then transplant it. late winter or early spring is best. Make sure you water it well and give it some good compost. Don't be surprised if it doesn't bloom the first year after you prune it. It may not.

  • Cindy Cindy on Aug 21, 2018

    Hi Mar. I'm Cindy. If your Smoke bush/tree is 5 feet tall, or more, you should dig the root ball to a diameter of 18 inches round and 14 inches deep. If you transplant it in October or November, root-prune in March. You could also transplant it in March, and root-prune in October. Root-prune means slicing thru the roots. Root pruning will encourage new feeder roots along the root ball that will be transplanted along with the tree. I hope this info helps you. Good luck.

  • Pat Pat on Aug 22, 2018

    Trim when needed but transplant most all plants in spring.