Although the ideal transplanting time in East Texas is early February, now is a good time to get ready for the newest member of your landscape family.
After choosing a specimen tree or bush for your landscape, you should have done some root pruning to the transplanted around June or July. This is where you take a sharp shooter shovel and cut the lateral roots about two inches smaller than the root ball you intend to dig up and move. You can do that now if you did not do it in summer; just skip a shovel width and cut down, making a dotted line around the tree. This will not set the tree back too much and will encourage some root growth in the root ball area by February.
Choose the spot where you are going to put the plant and dig a hole, fill it with organic material and at the same time get a soil sample. Try to give your transplant relatively the same light, soil chemistry and pH it had in its native spot.
In late January or early February, dig and move your tree or bush, keeping as much roil intact as possible, and add a root stimulator as recommended.
Chuck Desmond, Smith County Master Gardener
Texas AgriLife Extension Service