Q: How big of a root ball needs to be dug to transplant a crepe myrtle? I have one that is an off-shoot of a larger tree...the one I want to transplant is now about 10 feet tall, but has few side branches. I would like to miove it to my back yard, but am not sure if I can dig a rootball that is large enough....also can I do it this time of year?? Thanks in advance. - Patricia

A: Now is a good time to transplant a crepe myrtle. Yours doesn't sound too big for you to handle, but if a couple of burly, good-looking guys bearing a strong resemblance to Matt Damon offer to help, I wouldn't turn them down. The trick is digging a root ball that's 2-3 feet in diameter and at least a foot deep so the plant comes away with enough roots to grow. Dig when the soil is moist, so the soil will stick to the roots. After you and Matt lift the plant from the hole, place the root ball on a tarp that you can slide easily over the ground to the new destination. Plant the crepe myrtle so that the top of the root ball is even with the soil surface and then water thoroughly. Finally, tell Matt I really like his "Bourne" movies and hope he'll let me be in the next one. Grumpy

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