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How to Transplant Crepe Myrtle? | 7 Amazing Steps!

Crepe Myrtle is a beautiful flower-bearing tree that can grow as tall as 25 feet. The leaves have a pretty light green color, while the flowers exhibit various hues of pink that are ever so mesmerizing.

These beautiful trees have 50 species native to the warm climates of India, Oceania, and Southeast Asia.

Sometimes it is best to start the seedlings in a safer environment and transplant them to their original location. In this article, you’ll learn how to transplant Crepe Myrtle with seven amazing steps!

Trees have a longer life span than other plants; they can grow enormously over the years. Therefore, they are often planted at locations with enough space to sustain their growth over the years.

However, some conditions arise when moving a tree from a particular location is necessary.

If you find yourself in such a state, don’t worry, as it is possible to move a tree. Our helpful guide on how to transplant Crepe Myrtle proves it!

How to Transplant Crepe Myrtle
How to Transplant Crepe Myrtle – via Flickr

When to Transplant Crepe Myrtle?

The best time to transplant the Crepe Myrtle plant is during its dormancy.

Make sure the plant is dormant when you decide to transplant, and no new growths are sprouting. Wait till mid-spring to ensure the tree’s soil is easily workable. If you transplant the tree while it is active, it might kill it.

The best time to transplant a Crepe Myrtle is late winter or fall.

Do not transplant the tree during the warm months as the new leaves are growing, and transplanting may halt the growth. If you plan to transplant your Crepe Myrtle during summertime, we suggest holding it off until late fall.

Especially if the tree is old, do not transplant it during the growing season because it won’t be able to take the shock of transplantation and die.

To safely transplant your tree and watch it thrive, read our guide on how to transplant Crepe Myrtle.

Why Do You Need to Transplant Crepe Myrtle?

Crepe Myrtle is one of the most mesmerizing and loved ornamental trees.

But if you are wondering why you might need to transplant your Crepe Myrtle, read the following reasons to learn:

  • Often, the tree outgrows its current location and does not have sufficient room to grow anymore. In such cases, you will need to relocate the tree to a new area with more growing space. Myrtle trees can grow as tall as 30 feet, and if you planted it at a smaller spot earlier, you would need to relocate it.
  • If your tree isn’t receiving enough sunlight or if the light is getting blocked, then the tree needs to be transported. Low sunlight can stunt the tree’s growth and hinder its blooming.
  • If your tree is in the way of any new infrastructure being added around the house, it must be transplanted. If you are constructing or renovating around the house, then it is best to relocate the tree instead of cutting it.
  • Mature trees often sprout new plants from their roots, and they will grow into a new plant. These new propagations are relocated to new spots so they can grow to their fullest without leeching the nutrients of your older trees.

With that aside, let’s now see how to transplant Crepe Myrtle.

Step-by-Step Instructions on How to Transplant Crepe Myrtle

After learning the basics of when and why to transplant a creep Myrtle, let us dive in on how to transplant Crepe Myrtle in a stepwise manner.

Transplanting trees can be tricky because of their extensive root networks.

You must do the task safely and efficiently to ensure the tree is not damaged. The root balls of Crepe Myrtle trees are pretty large; however, they are not as deep, making the transplantation process a little easier.

1. Water Before Transplantation

Before transplanting your Crepe Myrtle, start watering the tree daily for at least a week. It will soften the soil around the tree to make uprooting easier. Furthermore, it will saturate the roots enough so that they can survive the transplant.

2. Prepare the New Site of Transplantation

It is suggested to start the digging of the new hole a few days in advance of transplantation.

It will ensure immediate transplantation, and you do not over-treat yourself while uprooting the tree.

  • While digging the hole, measure the tree’s diameter and dig at least one foot wider than the tree.
  • You want to dig the hole deeper, too, so that the roots have sufficient room to grow, and you can add the old soil with the established root system.
  • Please ensure the new location has enough space so you will not have to retransplant your tree after it grows.

Now, it’s time to uproot the tree.

3. Uprooting the Tree

This step can be a little difficult and time-consuming as it requires a lot of care.

  • You cannot just take a shovel and start digging, as it may damage the roots.
  • Carefully dig one to two feet around the tree and then below the tree. Don’t shovel too hard so as not to cut through the roots.
  • After the soil loosens around the tree, gently free the root balls and expose the central root ball.
  • Shake the tree from the stem, back and forth, to set the roots loose.
  • Leverage the root ball underneath the tree to help push it out gently.

Now, move to the next step.

4. Wrap up the Roots

After the roots have loosened, cover them using a tarp or burlap sack to keep them protected. Lay down a tarp next to the tree so you can use it to drag the tree to its new location.

5. Trim and Prune

After removing the tree, it becomes easy to prune its top if needed.

  • So, before you transplant it again, trim the top leaves and branches to encourage the growth of new leaves.
  • Do not cut back more than 1/3 of the tree branches. Cutting back too much will damage the tree and affect its growth.

Doing this will also ensure that surplus nutrients are available for the roots to grow rather than diverting them to the outer branches.

6. Replanting the Tree

It is time to replant the Crepe Myrtle tree to its new location.

You will need more workforce to ensure this task is done smoothly and without damage. As your friends help with the replanting, make sure to add enough soil from the old location of the tree to lessen the shock to the tree.

7. Water Generously

Once the tree is planted, water it thoroughly to reduce the shock and provide the plant with its required nutrients. You might be tempted to add fertilizers and overwater the plant, but this might not be a good idea.

Excess of anything is bad, so be careful!

How to Estimate the Size of a Root Ball?

While uprooting a tree, it is difficult to tell how deep or widespread the root ball is.

Knowing the estimated size of the root ball, you can plan out the digging more precisely and carry it through without damaging the root ball.

For further assistance, we have created a chart with estimated measurements to help you determine the root ball’s size based on the tree trunk’s diameter.

Trunk DiameterRoot and Soil Ball Diameter
1 inch or less14 inches
1–2 inches18–24 inches
2 inches24 inches
3 inches32–34 inches
4 inches40–42 inches

For every one-inch addition in the tree trunk’s diameter, keep adding 8 to 10 inches to the size of the root ball.

Once the tree is transplanted to its new location, be sure to provide extra tenderness, love, and care to the tree.

This significant change can cause the tree to go into shock, and if not taken care of properly, this might stunt the tree’s growth or even kill it entirely.

After a couple of weeks from the shock period, just as the spring is about to start, add fertilizers to help boost the growth of your tree in the coming season.

Keep the soil slightly moist but do not let it soak or let the water stand.

That’s all!

Now you know how to transplant Crepe Myrtle.

Here’s a video guide for you:

How to dig up and transplant a crepe myrtle and split a crepe myrtle into multiple trees! – YouTube

Now, let’s head toward the conclusion!


Trees are not only beautiful, but they are also an asset to the environment.

Caring for and nurturing a tree is a very long and rewarding process; for any reason, watching your tree cut or die can be very saddening.

Luckily, we have got the best solution for you!

If you find yourself in a situation where your tree can no longer be left in its original position, you can safely move it to another one.

With our helpful guide, you can learn all the basics of when, why, and how to transplant Crepe Myrtle, so you won’t have to cut it off. A helpful size chart and aftercare tips are added to the guide to help you make the transplantation process go smoothly.

Share the pictures of your Crepe Myrtle with us in the comments below!