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Interiorscape Forum / Scaper Talk Discussion Forum / Plants / Transplanting Ficus Benjamina
Posted:  15 Mar 2016 19:48  
I have a client that would like us to remove the Ficus Trees from an atrium and plant them in containers. The trees have been in this atrium for 12 plus years are about 13' tall. The largest grow pot we can use is a 21", which means will be cutting into a lot of roots. Can this be successfully done? New trees are not in the budget for this remodel. Thank you for any advice you may have on this subject.
Posted:  15 Mar 2016 23:18  
It can be done, but chances are you will lose or have difficulty with one or more of the trees.  You can try to pre-dig the trees (root prune them) before you actually dig them out and containerize them.  Dig around the trunk to create a rootball that will fit into your 21" nursery containers.  Doing this will prune the root system, so you will also have to prune the canopy of each tree in proportion to the amount of roots you will be disconnecting from the tree.  This balance will prevent major losses when you repot the trees.  Wait a week or two for the pruning cuts to heal on both roots and shoots before completing the digging and containerizing.  Be sure to water the trees well and keep them out of direct sunlight for a couple of weeks after potting them up to give them time to recuperate and prevent leaf drop.  If you choose to just do the digging and pruning and repotting all at once, you can expect more difficulty with the trees becoming acclimatized to container growth unless you have a shade structure or similar facility in which to grow them for awhile before placing them back into the account.  Good luck!
Posted:  15 Mar 2016 23:20  
By the way, this is the perfect time of year for this project.  The trees will already be starting new growth or will soon do so and should bounce back quickly from all the stress of the operation.
Posted:  16 Mar 2016 15:48  
Thank you so much for your help with this!
Posted:  16 Mar 2016 17:54  
De nada.  That's why we're here!
Posted:  08 Apr 2016 07:26  
Good information Useful information Thanks..

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Posted:  10 May 2016 15:49  
Outside when doing a project like this we used to spray the trees with Wiltproof to hold moisture in the leaves.  That was many years ago when I worked for a landscape nursery.  Clem would that be something advantageous to an indoor Ficus tree?
Posted:  10 May 2016 16:04  
It might help some, but the most important thing would be to get as much of the functional root system intact when transplanting the trees and pruning the canopy in proportion to the amount of lost roots in the process.  The client must be made to understand that the trees will not look great for some time after pruning/transplanting, and that this process would be better done off-site in a greenhouse or shadehouse setting, but since that's not an option, I would also make sure that you aren't on the hook for the replacement costs of any lost specimens.

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