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Transplanting Old Russian Sage

Hello! I need help transplanting my Russian Sage; 8 total. They are hedging my front property line now, and growing over the sidewalk. I want to move them to the side property, which is South facing and gets plenty of sun. My best guess is they are 6+ years old. What is the best way to get under the rootball to move? How big of a rootball can I expect (how deep and wide)? I started to work on them today, but gave up because I was afraid I would cause more harm than good. I dug about 6 inches deep but can't seem to get the rootball to give any. Any advice? Thanks!

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Transplanting isn't as easy as most assume. Figure the top of the plant, width wise, drip line, that's where you start digging around the ball. All the way around, sidewalk will help. After six years you won't be popping them out of the ground. Best thing is to do it after it rains. Anywhere from 12-18" down. You'll need some males to help you move them. Depending on where you live spring is in the air so you don't want to put it off too long. Dig with what sprinkler people call a sharpshooter. Short handled U shaped narrow blade rounded on the end. Put your back into it. Long handled shovel will just get in the way. Put the soil on the sidewalk and then just sweep it back into the hole. One thing you'll find out, if you have help, who is lazy.

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bullthistle wrote: You'll need some males to help you move them. .
How about you will need some strong people to help you move them! ??


Some of us female type people are pretty strong too. :) I push as much weight in the gym as some of the guys who are 30 years younger and a foot taller.
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I figured this was going to be no easy task, but the city has told me either kill them or transplant them, since they are goring over the sidewalk when in full bloom. They are too beautiful to kill, and I just hate murdering helpless plants anyway. I have done a bit of digging, still yet to find the root ball, BUT have found lots of offspring about to shoot up. I could always transplant these little guys, and wait the 2-3 years for them to get to the same size. But who's that patient. Thanks for the tip on the tool, I will look for that. Will the root ball be like any other shrub, or will it be more spread out, since they're roots tend to grow horizontal and not down. Thanks!

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