Before moving any hedge (sometimes called transplanting) you need to work out where you are moving it to. Consider whether the conditions for the tree are similar to where it is now. Moving a hedge to a new location is hard enough for a hedge, but moving it somewhere where the living conditions are completely different may not be a good idea. Ensure that the other bushes and plants in the new location are compatible with the bush. There is no point moving the hedge or bush next to plants that like lots of water if the bush requires very little. They just won’t be compatible.
When moving a hedge try and move it somewhere where the conditions are similar to where it is presently. For example if it is in the shade at the moment, move it somewhere else shady.
Next dig a suitable whole for your hedge. Make sure that it is twice as wide as the root ball and deep enough to accommodate the hedge roots. You can estimate the root ball size by gently digging around either side of the roots.
Once the hole is dug drench the soil with water. This will ensure that when the hedge is moved to its new location that it has enough water to survive and recover. It is also worth adding a layer of fresh compost to the soil to provide additional nutrients required for healthy hedge growth.
Moving is stressful for the hedge. To limit the stress you should try and ensure that it has everything it needs to recover from the damage it will suffer when being transplanted from one location to another.
To ensure your hedge stands the best possible chances of surviving the move, prune the hedge back. Remove any dead or dying leaves and take it back as far as possible. Remember never to cut more than 20% of the hedge in one go. Make sure you water the hedge a few days before the move to ensure that it is fully hydrated.
When digging the hedge up, first loosely tie the branches together with a rope. This will allow you additional room to work in and keep the branches out of the way. Start by digging appropriately 10 inches outside away from the base of the trunk. Create a trench around the shrub gently tipping the bush onto a sheet. By tipping the bush onto a sheet will make it easier to transport to its new location.
If you do need to cut the roots, be sure to use a sharp pair of secateurs or a knife to ensure a clean cut and reduce stress on the hedge. Try and be as gentle as possible saving as many roots as possible. Avoid the temptation of breaking up the soil at the bottom of the roots. This may cause the bush to sink encouraging rotting.
Add the hedge to its new hole and spread out the roots out as much as possible. Make sure that the hedge is no deeper in its new hole than its old one and fill in with a mixture of soil and fresh compost. Water the hedge once more. Keep watering the hedge every few days. You can also can additional organic material like bark chipping or grass mulch which will slowly break down and provide nutrients to the hedge.