Rescue Large Azalea?

There a 2 large azalea plants that are scheduled to be removed to make way for a new house. I think one is way to large to transplant (I would need a crane to lift it)
http://members.aol.com/williamrusser/a2.jpg /
The other seem manageable. Its about 6' high 4' across. We live in N. New Jersey zone 5. Has anybody had experience moving large azaleas?
http://members.aol.com/williamrusser/a1.jpg /
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They transplant easily. Azaleas typically have shallow rootballs. This is a great time to move them!
Dave

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Cut the tops back about 2/3 and try to dig out as far as the original spread and roll it out of the hole. It's shallow rooted and you won't need much of a ball of dirt if you get those surface roots. Replant at the same depth and water once a week, or lees if the ground stays moist. Within 2 years they will most likely be back up to the same size. I have some I moved 3 years ago that are huge already, and I cut them back to a foot!
Tom J

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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (William Russer) wrote:

I've moved six & eight foot rhodies from spots where they'd been in the ground for decades. Sometimes the roots are surprisingly shallow & they pop right out of the ground after slicing a big circle around the dripline. The first time I ever moved such a shrub, it was rooted so shallowly, it came out of the ground like a pancake. "Moving rhodies is easy!" I enthused -- but hooboy, since then, others have contradicted the idea that rhodies & azaleas always have such shallow roots.
I spent hours "undermining" one big rhody & could not find the lowest roots even when the hole was a three-foot deep trench all around the shrub. In frustration I finally sawed the roots short, & even at that the rootball was so big it took four people grunting & crabbing at each other to get it down a stone stairway & lift it to a flatbed. I brought it home for my garden, considerably banged up from its ordeal, but I minimally pruned it to a pleasing shape & it began producing new limbs & leaves right out of the bark of the broken or pruned bits. I've babied it because of the sawed-off roots, but it has never shown the least sign of stress & is just doing superbly. I was just asked to go remove three more big ones -- & I'm kind of dreading it for fear the roots will be big deep ones again. My partner's art show at a cafe opens this weekend & that has me too busy right now, but sometime in the coming week or I'll have to start digging.
I've moved other sorts of shrubs in the past & it stressed some of them horridly, most were slow to bounce back, a couple died, but never these rhodies, they seem to get through being moved barely noticing it happened.
-paghat the ratgirl
--
"Of what are you afraid, my child?" inquired the kindly teacher.
"Oh, sir! The flowers, they are wild," replied the timid creature.
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"......... I think one is way to large to transplant (I would need a crane to lift it) .........."
With a beauty like that I would give it a go, shorten the top back well then try to split the clump into 3 or 4 bits, When replanting mix peat (Peatmoss) into the soil water well after planting and stand back. Lucky you.
--
David Hill
Abacus nurseries
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Current advice I get from the local experts is to only use the soil that came from the dug hole. Adding anything to the soil will cause the roots to stay in the softer soil and not send feeders out into the native soil. YMMV Tom J
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