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Mature (20+ yrs) Japanese Maple and Camellia on offer

Hi all, I have an usual enquiry and I do hope you can help.

I'm trying to give a new life to a couple of beautiful trees in my front garden (Kingston upon Thames), that have overgrown the available space to grow.

Both plants were planted by me 20 years ago, they are both very healthy.


1/ A Japanese Maple,  1.5m high and a bit more than 2m in diameter;

2/ A white Camellia, 2m tall 

Ideally I'd like to sell them to someone who will relocate them to a new garden, but I'd be grateful for any advice you could give me on this.8565828086?profile=RESIZE_710x8565833486?profile=RESIZE_710x8565834253?profile=RESIZE_710x


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  • i would say best to dig them out now and containerise in large pots or any large but portable container that has drainage holes. They are potentially worth far more as potted specimens than growing in the ground; in fact many landscapers dig such plants out every day and throw them in a skip as part and parcel of a garden clearance job. Feed and water as necessary, prune any dead or untidy bits off then put them on ebay once the season gets going. Local collection only, due to size. But be prepared to wait for right buyer in order to get top money for them

  • I think you will certainly find someone who would want them, but if they had to dig them out themselves then I don't think they are worth any money. The only way you'll get some coin for them is to dig them up yourself and pot them on, as Billypop has mentioned. They look like healthy plants so they will be worth something, but it's not like they're rare! The fact they're 20+years may actually put people off, as the root system will be fully established and digging up may cause root damage and be hard work (for a non-seasoned gardener at least). So probably keep the age of them quiet!

  • Thank you both for your replies, much appreciated. Could you recommend what size pots should I use? I'm happy to dig them up myself, any recommendation so that I do not kill them? :) 

    many thanks!

    • PRO

      A seriously large pot, the sort of thing you would put a tree in - I would say the largest of these you can afford/justify


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      • PRO

        I think the problem you will find is the shrubs wont have a root ball you can dig out . 

        Just pieces of root you may have to chop to get them out of the ground . 

        very difficult without a root ball for those big shrubs to get any purchase particularly in pots of compost they may be top heavy and just fall over . 

        perhaps put gravel or heavy crocks in the bottom of a deep pot to help stabalise and put a stake in the pot to secure the shrubs to and use a compost such as a john innes designed for potted shrubs . 

        I did once have to dig out a maple larger than the one in picture , all i got was a sliver of root but customer insisted on replanting it when dormant in front garden , secured by heavy stakes , a year later it flourished , i was amazed .

  • probably not worth spending a fortune on a pot as in the real world you might only get £50 for the Acer and £30 for the Camellia, but you never know. A similar sized shrub in a garden centre would cost a fortune of course, so you might get a high end buyer. A container with 2 handles is good, even a gorilla type tub with holes drilled in might be big enough but be prepared to water copiously when the weather warms up

  • Hi there,

     There is a good half days work for two gardeners who know what they are doing to get them out of the ground burlapped. There's possibly gonna be a fair amount of damage to the Acer too when working on it ,as its delicate branches snap easily.The camellia will be easier. Alot would depend on the soil too. If its light loamy soil ,it could prove very tricky getting those plants out with any reasonable rootball.burlapping them might be the only option. That's where you chase out a rootball  and wrap it with hessian and a wire wrap on that.you can then lift it out with hand hooks .That method would guarantee success...The bigger question for me is whether  they really have outgrown that space. ??. The acer looks perfect there to me..Everyone's differnt mind!


    Best of luck



    • PRO

      Agree the acer looks stunning in situ and also desirable . 

      I feel whoever wants it will go to the trouble of having it removed carefully as there is a bit of work involved and also timing is important i would have a hole already dug for it to go straight into . 

      Mature Camellia might not take to a new home if it doesn't like the soil , at buyers risk if they are paying money for it . 



      • yes that acer is a beauty, it woulld not look out of place at this year's (Autumn) Chelsea Flower Show

        • Hi Billybop, thanks, I do love that tree, that's why I'd love to see it thrive!

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