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Hi,first time in the forum so hi to everyone,my question is i want to dig up a japanese acer which has been established for about six years,its about three feet x three feet and in excellent condition,the reason for removing and replanting is my eldest son has moved into new property and i promised him he could have it,is it ok too remove the acer at this time of the year,also appreciate any tips once it has been dug up (what would happen if i damaged the roots would i need any special compost or would it help if i put rooting powder into the ground on replanting)....any help would be very welcome........Many thanks Sklig.......................


Wrong time of year to move anything in my opinion-leave it till the autumn.

Rooting powder is to aid in the rooting of cuttings it will not help in this instance.

When you come to do get as much rootball up as you can and also have the new spot prepared in readiness.


Alina W

As Geoff says, this is the worst time of the year to move it - wait until the leaves have dropped and it is dormant. At that size, the rootball will be substantial - acers have shallow, spreading roots, so you will be looking at something as wide as the tree's canopy.

Hi,Geoff and Alina W,many thanks for the speedy response to my question,will take note of your opinions,cheers,Sklig............

Jean Genie

Geoff is spot on - make sure you don't damage the roots when you move it . I had to dig mine out of a wooden container that had rotted and I've caused no end of problems - all the new growth wilted and I've had to remove some branches that have died back . Alina reckons it may come back next .  I live in hope .


Alina W

As long as some of it's still alive there's a reasonable chance that it will improve next year, Jean

Jean Genie

Thanks, Alina still following your advice and it's still alive, well the barks green.


Hi Ive moved my maple twice in two years and its doing great now. It was in a pot then i moved it to the front garden but it was to dry and windy. so now I moved it to the back in a shaded area that is fed by the gutter when it rains.  Its never looked better.


I have one to tackle this autumn - it's been in the wrong place 2 years longer than it should have been and hs grown quite large.


I'm sure I heard or read on/in Gardeners' World that the reason before you should dig around the root-ball and fill with loose compost so any damage is repaired before you move it and it's easier to dig up - did I dream it?

Good evening to all,

I have three Acer's, one is a tree the others two are smallers trees / bushes. I have had them between 8-10 years. The tree is in a wood pot which has rotted, the other 2 are in damaged stone pots. When is the best time to transplant them into larger pots, & which is the best soil to use.

Kind Regards,

Ian (Staffordshire)


Hi Ian, now is an excellent time to re-pot them.  For permanent plantings like this, the best stuff to use is John Innes number 3.  I usually use 2/3rds JI #3 and 1/3rd JI#2 as that mix is a bit lighter making moving large containers/pots a bit easier.

Agree with Bob.  Exactly.

my mum and da have an acer tree that is probably about 6ft high sadley they have just passed away and i would like to transfer the acer to my garden or should i not attempt it? thank you x


my mum and da have an acer tree that is probably about 6ft high sadley they have just passed away and i would like to transfer the acer to my garden or should i not attempt it? thank you x

Now is a good time to try and if you get as much root as possible then it has a great chance of transplanting.

Hiya sharon

Ideal time now to transplant.  

Choose a sheltered position or it.    cold winds are the biggest  enemy for jap acers.  

Strong direct sun is not good either ESP re dissectum  types.  They will burn 

After a fair amount of position changing and investigation I can now grow a nice looking purple Acer.  I have positioned it to avoid strong direct sun, sheltered it from cold winds and provided good humous rich soil.  Acers are not really ideal plants for me as I'm near the coast.  

They do transplant well..... 6' isn't too big.  Yes, go for it.  Get as big a rootball as poss and have the recipient hole already prepared so it's planted asp.  



,let us know how you get on.  

Because it's of such sentimental value to you it will make a great addition to your garden.

Many of us have plants to remember people by in our gardens....helps to make our plots so precious 

Lion S

my mum and da have an acer tree that is probably about 6ft high sadley they have just passed away and i would like to transfer the acer to my garden or should i not attempt it? thank you x


Sharon, how long has this Acer been in your parents' garden? If it's an established tree, it'll need some preparation before you can transplant it successfully. The information in the link below is very good and will tell you what you need to do to cause as little stress as possible to the tree.


EDIT: Sorry, can't  insert the link, so you'll have to copy and paste 

I have to transplant my red acre,its been in this pot for 4/5years when to transplant?,and what compost do I use is it ericasushusus?

Hiya Geraldine, 

Should be just fine.  You don't actually need acid soil (ericaceous) but I think it's best. In another pot?  Or transplant to the open ground?  

Main requirements are sheter from cold winds, frosutherland hottest of the summer sun and reasonable moisture in the soil.


You can re-pot or plant out acers (or any other potted plant/tree) at almost any time of the year, Geraldine.  Good advice from Verdun - place it somewhere where it won't get early morning sun, too (this will reduce damage if the young leaves ever get frosted.)