How to Repot a Tree

Welcome to today's Tree care guide blog. We've put together a blog post and tree care video with all the information you need on how to repot a tree.

So if you have received a tree gift from us recently and aren't sure what to do with it, or perhaps you're simply wanting to move your container grown trees into a new and bigger pot then this guide is perfect for you.


Repotting and Transplanting Container Grown Trees

All potted trees and plants will eventually outgrow their current home and either need repotting or their roots trimmed to remain healthy and flourishing.

Watch our helpful video on how we repotted one of our beautiful Christmas Holly Trees or follow our guide below the video for detailed information. 


Some signs that your trees and plants need repotting are:

  • Soil drying out quicker than usual
  • Tree or plant is rootbound
  • Roots are poking out through the drainage holes in the pot
  • Tree or plant looks too big for the pot


Most plants can be repotted at any time of the year. Summer is good as the tree is actively growing and can grow into the new soil, winter is great as the tree is dormant and this will reduce shock from transplanting.

For more gardening advice check out our winter gardening tips and make sure to take the best care of your trees this winter.


How to repot a tree:

  1. Start by removing your tree or plant from its current pot. To do this, grab hold of the base of the plant or trunk, hold the pot with your other hand and turn at an angle to slide out.
  2. Heavily rootbound plants tend to loosen better if watered before removing from the pot.
  3. Once you remove the plant, start to tease the roots to loosen them slightly before planting into a new pot.
  4. Choose a pot that is the next size up from the current one and make sure it’s big enough to fit the root ball in. Ensure that the pot has good drainage holes in the bottom.
  5. Put a layer of compost at the bottom of the pot, enough to sit the root ball so that the top of the root ball is sitting around 1 inch below the edge of the pot.
  6. Place your tree or plant into the new pot making sure to centre it.
  7. Fill in around the rootball with the rest of your compost until soil level is right.
  8. Firm down and give the pot a good water. You may notice the soil compact down a little after the first watering, this is normal and the pot can just be topped up as needed.


Repotting your trees and plants not only gives them a new lease of life with fresh nutrients in the soil but it allows them to carry on growing. Once your tree has reached its full size the half the compost should be replaced every couple of years and a fresh dressing of top soil can be added each year.

Always water your potted trees and plants well, especially when the soil surface feels dry.


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