Experts and BHG readers answer.
Can established boxwoods be transplanted to a new location?
Large, well-established boxwoods can be transplanted if you can dig enough of the rootball as you transplant them. For large plants this is difficult for a homeowner to do without special equipment such as a tree spade, which leaves a large ball of soil intact around the plants' roots. Most of the shrubs roots will be in top 12 inches of soil, but roots may extend out several times the width of the shrub. It may help to make downward cuts a foot deep into the soil about 18 inches from the main stem a year before you want to transplant them. Cutting through the roots like that forces them to branch and develop a more extensive root system close to the main trunk. Then the following year you can dig up the shrub and transplant it, attempting to keep as much of the soil in place as possible. The best time to transplant is either late winter, just before growth begins or early fall, a couple of months before the ground freezes.