Monday, April 06, 2015

Transplanting Cedar Trees

My five year old cedar in its new pot.
We have small trees in pots on the front deck. We start with plant two year old seedlings. It's either the water, sun, fertilizer, or tender loving care that makes them outgrow their containers in just a few years.

Two cedar trees have been sharing my rectangular pots with flowers from spring to fall. Now the trees make too much shade, and their roots have taken over the limited soil.

I got two larger pots free with Canadian Tire money. They are pottery coloured, but made of plastic. We need to limit weight on the deck.

I waited until spring to transplant so the trees would start their new growth in their new homes. The alternative was in the fall, but I didn't want to disturb my remaining flowers.

You can see that the scale-like cedar leaves are still sporting their winter brown. That's a hint that it's a good time for transplanting. The tree is still dormant.

To help keep the soil light in the pot, I purchase a bag of Vigoro Perlite to combine with potting soil. The Perlite reduces weight, but it also provides for soil aeration, helps prevent soil compaction, and foster root growth, just what I am looking for.

Wayne drilled holes in the bottom of my pot and I placed a few rocks in the bottom. This will help keep the soil from blocking the drain holes. It will also help keep the weight at the bottom, hopefully helping to keep the pot from blowing off the deck.

I put a layer of potting soil over the rocks, a layer of Perlite, and more potting mix. I mixed them together and made a hole for the roots.

The hardest part was getting the trees out of their former pots. They were root bound.

Once the tree were in place, I filled in with potting soil. I staked the trees, and surrounded the trunks with more rocks. The rocks look good, add weight, and keep the soil from drying out.

My other cedar tree with its driftwood windbreak.

What happened to the flower pots? Of course, I went out and found two more two year old cedars to start the process all over again.
Do you have trees in pots? How often do you have to transplant them? -- Margy


  1. Looks like a lot of work but worth it in the end. We currently rent so no trees to transplant. Though the owners need to transplant some of their bamboo soon.

  2. Lots of joy in your post... and the trees, in pots, are gorgeous, indeed!! they seems to be so lucky and grow so well! Wonderful aspects! Warm greetings!

  3. I don't actually have trees in pots - but I have two lilac bushes and one snowball bush. The snowball bush looks like it will need transplanting to a bigger pot next season - the lilacs should be able to stay in their pots for at least 2 more years, unless they surprise me.

    I like your cedar trees.

  4. I didnt think of cedar trees in pots on your deck, that adds some nice color and texture. You cedar look nicer than ours. Here they take over and quickly cover everything especially if there has been a fire. Ours get big and then the bottom branches lose leaves but leave very pointy and dangerous limbs.

  5. Gotta love free stuff, especially for gardening. I'm sure the trees will take just fine with the repotting. I only have one shrub in a pot that we got from our daughter last year. I was checking it yesterday and it has buds on it so guess it survived the winter under the deck. We'll see how the growth is this year and if it gets too big we'll put it into the ground.

  6. I don't have trees in pots but am thinking about trying to plant something a little tropical in one for the patio that can be brought in the house in winter. Perhaps time to go tree shopping! We have 12 foot cedars that line every fence in our yard - previous owner planted them. We have to knock the dead bits off every year as she planted them too close or they choke themselves out. That chore is on the list for this week


We welcome your comments and questions. - Wayne and Margy