Transplanting arborvitae is a fairly straightforward process. It is very similar to the act of transplanting most other plants. Transplanting arborvitae should always be done in the autumn months. The first step is to dig around the plant and fairly deep. The underground root structure of an arborvitae shrub or tree can sometimes get pretty large, and it is important not to damage any roots if possible.
Once the plant is up, remove much of the soil from around the roots. This can be done using water or lightly shaking the roots.
Once the soil has been removed, select a new location for the plant. Ensure that the new location will satisfy the needs of the plant. There should be a good amount of direct sunlight each day, and also good drainage of water.
Once the location has been selected, a hole must be dug for the plant. The hole should be large enough to house the entire root system freely, and not in a large clump. Spread out the roots and add soil a little bit at a time and press firmly to remove any air pockets and reinforce the support for the plant. The crown of the arborvitae, where the roots come together, should be just an inch or so beneath the surface of the soil, as the roots need air to grow. Now, the plant must be watered gently, to ensure the roots are in contact with the soil.
Transplanting arborvitae is often done for a variety of reasons. One reason is that the plant may not be thriving in its current location. This may be for several reasons, including not enough sun or soil drainage. Another reason for transplanting arborvitae is to create a better screen for wind or unattractive sights.