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The Best Time to Transplant a Holly Tree

Updated January 17, 2019

Holly trees are commonly used as ornamental plants in areas all over the United States. Holly is relatively easy to transplant and usually survives if you move it at the right time and under ideal conditions.

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Holly trees have shallow root systems, which makes them relatively easy to transplant. Keep the transplanting process quick; the trees should be kept out of the ground for as short a time as possible. Replant the holly in a hole that is much wider, but no deeper, than the tree's root ball.

Time Frame

Because holly is evergreen, timing is not as important as with deciduous trees, which should be transplanted while dormant. Avoid transplanting holly during the peak growth season of late spring to summer. Early spring is a good time to transplant holly, along with late summer or early fall. Avoid planting too late in fall, as this can lead to winter browning on holly and other evergreens.


Be sure to transplant holly to a location that is suited for it. Holly needs room to grow and thrives in well-drained soil with full sun to partial shade. Water it thoroughly after transplanting, but do not allow the area around the tree to become waterlogged.


As with all trees, it is best to move holly when it is small. If a tree is to large to move by yourself, get others to help you. Never lift a tree by its stem; always support it from beneath the root ball.

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About the Author

Richard Corrigan has been a full-time professional writer since 2010. His areas of expertise include travel, sports and recreation, gardening, landscaping and the outdoors. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from SUNY Geneseo in 2009.

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