[align=left]Hi! I am about to be the recipient of 5 very large Ilex Shilling bushes. My question is, should they be pruned before they are dug up? Any advice once I get them to my house?[/align]
[align=left]Any imput/comments/suggestions are greatly appreciated! I don't want to kill these plants, they are about 15 years old!!:?[/align]
Where do you live and what Zone are you in?
I would normally advise people to transplant in the fall versus spring. You can transplant in* spring, but you must keep your plants watered.*
Pruning... hmm, I would say no.* The shock of the move is enough stress and with the extra prune, it maybe to much for this size of a plant.* These are mature plants with a large root ball.* Don't use your shovel to dig towards the base of the bush, but use your shovel to dig around the shrub.* This way your pulling up the roots versus slicing them off.
Newt may have a different opinion.
I am in Zone 9, Northest Florida.
What a wonderful gift!* I agree with backyard gardener that digging in fall is best, especially in your location.* You will need to water diligently all summer if you don't get enough rain, especially if you have sandy soil.* Be sure they're watered 2 to 3 days before digging if there has been no rain.* If they area't being dug by pros, you should find these sites helfpful.* The first shows how to b&b the rootball.
Here's how to water and mulch.* The mulch site is for trees, but the same applies to shrubs.
Table 2 here might be helpful for you.
You are very welcome!* Enjoy your new treasures.