Elven Dreams
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Location: Western North Carolina Foothills

Advice on moving older Blueberry Bushes

Hello! I used to be on this forum a bit as Mithril Maid but lost all my info when my laptop got fried...now on another computer and still looking for all my sites.....

Anyway....my dressage trainer is giving me three blueberry bushes that are growing on her property. They have a massive deer population in her area and are never able to harvest the berries before the deer get them all.

So it's late January in the foothills of North Carolina. Can I move these trees now or should I wait a bit? I don't yet have a spot for them as I am still looking for info on the best place to put them.

I had hoped to be able to put them along the edge of my garden but it is in the open and I read they like to have some shelter so now I'm not sure.

The plants are about 3-4 tall and I would think maybe 5-6 years old minimum. They aren't very bushy or anything. They haven't really been tended too at all, just mowed around.

Any advice at all is deeply appreciated! I'm eager to expand my gardening skills and my list of home grown produce! :)

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applestar
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Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

it's cetainly a good idea to put some thought into where to locate them.
I recommend you check out some edible landscaping designs -- blueberry shrubs/bushes are often recommended as highly desirable for flower, fruit, as well as the fall foliage. :D Note too that birds also steal the berries before they're ripe enough to pick :mad:, so a higher traffic area may be a better location, but you may still have to put protective netting over them when the berries begin to color.

You may also be interested to note that blueberry leaves are also larval food source for the Spring Azure and Hairstreak butterflies. (So don't be too quick to squash or kill any caterpillars you find on them :wink: )

Blueberries prefer acid, well drained soil. Some varieties need more water than others. Some blueberries need to be cross pollinated for good fruit set. If yours are southern blueberries, I'm not as familiar with them, so I'll leave it at that. :wink:
Last edited by applestar on Wed Jan 21, 2009 7:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Elven Dreams
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Location: Western North Carolina Foothills

Thanks I'll look into the designs... I'm not sure what type they are since they were planted before my trainer moved in....


Should I go ahead and prune them now or is it too close to spring? I think our last frost date is towards the end of March but not too sure... Also would it be safe to move them now (now being Jan/Feb) and still hope they survive?

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applestar
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I'm not an expert, but I've been reading a lot this past season in prep for my own bit of fruit tree/shrub pruning. Every expert advice said DON'T PRUNE FROZEN WOOD. Also have been told not to disturb tree/shrub roots during the deep freeze by folks in the Bonsai forum.

Hopefully, someone else with more experience and from your own climate area will give you additional info, but in MY USDA zone 6/7 border area, I probably would not prune or move until at least after mid March. Hope that helps. :roll:

Elven Dreams
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Location: Western North Carolina Foothills

Well then I definitely have to wait on it... I'm in zone 7a from what I can tell on the new maps. I guess I'll wait til spring and give it a go... I know trees etc do better transplanting in the fall but I she is going to be building on this area hopefully this summer so I will need to get them moved.

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hendi_alex
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I'm in north central S.C. and I would move mine any time. I had several similar sized plants, maybe larger as they have been in the ground for at least 10 years. I moved mine in the middle of the summer and they did just fine. I think that you can move blue berries about any time, but any time that they are dormant is best IMO. Just make sure that you water the plants thoroughly the first two years, until they get established. Then just water during prolonged dry periods.

Elven Dreams
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Location: Western North Carolina Foothills

thanks hendi-alex... I think I'm going to hold off a bit and see if we get our normal 'end of january' freeze... then maybe plan to move them toward the end of february.
That will give me time to get a spot ready for them as well.... I know they like fairly acidic soil... I'll have to work on it lol


Thanks for the tips everybody!

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