Relocating a Monkey Puzzle tree

Hi all,

Had an unusual equiry from a client as follows.

"Ed, do you think that it is possible to dig up and move a 20’ high monkey puzzle tree? I would like to put one in the front garden to provide some screening. Thoughts?"

The client has seen 2 specimins at this size for sale on ebay but both need moving from one part of the country to another.

Its been done by these guys but from one position to another on the same site. Have to say i expected a much bigger rootball.

How much would it be to just buy a fresh specimin and have it delivered. Logistically that would seem the best and may be cheapest/hassle free option to me if you can get a mature one.

I am aware of the issues around moving - digging up, handling, transportation (guess they are not a tree to lie on their side), support/anchoring in the new hole, watering.

Also i have concerns that after all that cost and work, will it like the climate and soil type that it gets relocated to.

So...what are peoples thoughts.






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  • PRO

     Is the case study showing the same tree in situ a year later ? the building in the background has sprung up quick or is the photo taken from a different angle? , i can't work it out . 

    One of my favourite tree's , A smaller specimen delivered would be a better option if he just wants a monkey puzzle tree because he likes them but they are slow growing and very prickly to handle . 

    Looks to be a challenging task and a gamble in my opinion .


    • PRO

      Thanks for reply John,

      I understood it as the first 3 pics show where the tree was and the digout and lift out of the ground and the last pic shows the tree in its new location elsewhere on the same site.

      Like you i think it is an expensive gamble and the logistical costs will make it just as expensive as buying in a fesh specimin.


  • PRO

    Ed --

    Theres a huge amount of potential issues and is the client really sure they want a plant like this ? 

    Its covered with razor sharp leaves that can cut skin - the branches can be pretty wide as it matures and unlike a soft conifer you really wont walk close to the plant twice !! Certainly not child or even human frinedly up close.

    And to be honest it doesnt really act as screening -- more of a focal point / feature plant. 

    Beyond that id expect buying one at a simialr height and having it delivered is the better option unless the deals on these ebay ones are amazing -- but then if they are amazing theres bound to be a problem. 

    And whose responsible if the plant fails ? I cant see an ebay seller guaranteeing their plant where as a good wholesaler / importer should offer some guarantees ? 

    Regarding moving them -- i have an 'eccentric' client that is always moving trees -- and moved a 20 ft monkey puzzle a few years ago from one part of the site to another during a hot spring and its doing absolutely fine. 

    They are tough and although they prefer loam/sandy/ free draining - this site is clay with a very high water table and still doing fine. 

    Long and short - theres alot of figure work and liability work to do to before making a decision but its certianly possible. 

    • PRO

      the two on ebay at the moment look reasonably good condition at a glance and very good prices particularly if can haggle them down a bit which one certainly looks like they will. 

      I dont know what something 15 ft approx will cost from a quality supplier but only ones i can see quickly on line are between £1000 - 1500 for around 10-11 ft -- so if you can get a pair at 20 ft for around £500 it may be worth it as long as client accepts a deal that good is going to come with risks.


  • PRO

    Cheers Dan.

    Some helpful input there. Thanks.

    Main thing for me is logistics of sending a team over to dig them out and transport them back. To my mind the cost of that little lot is enough to put the kybosh on the whole idea.

    I sent the hazlewood link to the client and he has now asked me to source one instead.

    I hadn't realised how sharp they are so will point that out and maybe we will look at another option altogether.

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