Can I replant mature blueberry and grape plants?
August 24, 2004 8:04 AM   Subscribe

My neighbor has many mature blueberry and grape plants. Because he's rearranging things on his property, he's offered me some of the plants *if* I dig and move them myself. Is this possible? Is it practical? Is there some mechanized device that I can rent, borrow, or buy to make the job easier? Bonus question: I just chopped down three youngish Locusts, the largest of which had a trunk maybe six inches in diameter. What's the best way to remove the stumps so that I can plant fruit trees in their place?
posted by jdroth to Home & Garden (3 answers total)
Best answer: The blueberries are worth a shot. Low-bush ("Maine-style") varieties often won't survive a transplant, but high-bush ("New Jersey-style") ones generally do all right. Either type, it could work.

Grapes will be tougher because of the tendrils. You're going to cause the plant a lot of trauma just by separating the vines from what they're grown on. But large chunks may survive and then grow on your property. Be sure to trim away all the parts that die.

You don't need any special equipment to take the plants. Use a spade to dig around the base of the plant (up to a two foot diameter if possible), gently pry it up (being careful to keep as much of the soil in the roots as possible) and stagger over to your yard or put it in a wheelbarrow.

Removing the stump-- This guy has good advice. I have a neat, low-exertion method using a cable spool, too if it interests you.
posted by Mayor Curley at 8:14 AM on August 24, 2004

I have a neat, low-exertion method using a cable spool, too if it interests you.

let's hear it!
posted by jacobsee at 1:50 PM on August 24, 2004

Okay, it's easier with illustrations, but follow me. You drill holes opposite each other on the spool and pass a rope through. Anchor the rope on one side with a knot (or by tying it to something too big to pass through the hole).

Secure the other end of the rope to the stump-- passing it under the center is ideal, getting it under just a main root means that this might take several passes.

Roll the rope up into the spool so that it is taught. There will be a tight section of rope passing between the stump and the spool. Now, using a long two-by-four (and in a best case scenario another for a friend standing next to you), roll the spool over the stump in the direction that the slack gained will roll onto the spool. As you pass over the stump with this contraption, it creates a whole mess of leveraged force that will rip the stump out of the ground.

Does that make sense?
posted by Mayor Curley at 2:24 PM on August 24, 2004

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