How to Move a Crape Myrtle Tree

Crape myrtle is known for its delicate, vibrant blossoms in white, pink, red or purple and all shades in between. This deciduous shrub grows mostly in the southern U.S. and is hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture zones 7 to 9. Crape myrtle grows best in full sun and moist, well-drained soil. Cultivars can range in height from dwarf specimens at 3 to 5 feet, a mid-range size from 5 to 10 feet, with the largest size ranging from 10 to 20 feet. If your crape myrtle needs to be moved, it can be done fairly easily if you do it in early fall or spring when the tree is dormant.

Transplants may be very heavy

Step 1

Water the crape myrtle well two to three days before moving it.

Step 2

Run a measuring tape from the trunk of the crape myrtle to the farthest reach of the lowest side branch. Double this measurement for the diameter of the circle you will dig for the transplant hole.

Step 3

Dig the transplant hole, using a shovel and your measurements. Make the hole three feet deep to accommodate the crape myrtle's tap root.

Step 4

Return to the crape myrtle and dig around the tree in your measured circle. Point the shovel tip at a 45-degree angle toward the center of the trunk on all sides.

Step 5

Pry the crape myrtle out of the hole as gently as you can. If you get major resistance, dig deeper at a sharper angle.

Step 6

Place onto the ground near the tree a piece of burlap large enough to encircle and securely wrap the root ball. Grip the tree with both hands and lift it out of the ground. Wrap the burlap around the root ball, tie it loosely around the trunk and put the crape myrtle in the wheelbarrow. Roll the barrow to the new site.

Step 7

Fill a bucket with water and pour half of it into the transplant hole to settle the soil. Lift the tree out of the wheelbarrow and set it in the hole. Check to see that the root crown is just above the soil line, then backfill the hole with soil, pressing it firmly against the roots to close air spaces.

Step 8

Pour the rest of the water slowly over the root zone of the crape myrtle, to create a tight bond between soil and tree roots and help ease shock to the root system. Fill the wheelbarrow with the remaining soil, return to the original hole then fill it.

Step 9

Water the transplanted crape myrtle with a bucket of water every other day for the next several weeks to help the roots establish and begin to grow.