How to dig up box hedges

Written by lisa wampler
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How to dig up box hedges
Box hedges offer great privacy for a lawn. (Hemera Technologies/ Images)

A box hedge can grow between 30 cm and 2.7 m (1 and 9 feet) tall with an extreme height of 9 m (30 feet). The box hedge is an evergreen hedge that does well when pruned. They are often planted closely together to form a barrier and create privacy. If you need to remove a box hedge either because you no longer want it or you plan to relocate it, you will find that the process is straightforward and relatively easy to complete.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Pruning saw
  • Lawn rake
  • Shovel
  • Cart

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  1. 1

    Cut back the hedge to its stump if you do not plan on replanting the hedge in a new location. Use a pruning saw to complete the cuts. This will not only make it easier to remove the soil around the hedge, but will make it easier to lift the root ball out of the ground.

  2. 2

    Remove debris from around the hedge such as built-up leaves and dead foliage that fall off the hedge. Use a lawn rake to remove the debris. It can build up heavily on untrimmed hedges.

  3. 3

    Dig a hole around the plant that measures approximately 100 cm (40 inches) in diameter. The average root ball for a box hedge is around 57.5 to 80 cm (23 to 32 inches) in diameter. Although you may end up cutting through a root, this shouldn't hurt the hedge if you replant it, as long as it is not excessive.

  4. 4

    Rock the root ball back and forth in the hole to knock off the dirt if you plan to throw the hedge away. If you plan to keep it, leave as much of the dirt packed in the root ball as possible to minimise air exposure and drying roots.

  5. 5

    Cup your hands and arms under the root ball as far as you can. Have a second person do the same. Lift up on the root ball by the bottom. Do not pull the root ball out of the hole by its roots.

  6. 6

    Place the hedge onto a moving cart if you plan to keep it and relocate it.

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