My plant was to attempt to save the hollies and move them elsewhere in the yard. I also wanted to see if I could move the crabapple. Unfortunately the crabapple turned into an exercise in futility. I had so much trouble digging around the base of the tree due to the clay and gravel leftover from construction that I kept finding everywhere. I also kept running into daffodil bulbs that I didn't want to damage which led me to give up on the crabapple. Out came my bow saw and down came the apple tree.
The hollies were a slightly different story. They were large and had mostly pot bound roots. I had to give them a severe pruning in order to get close enough to the root balls to dig. Once I did that I tried to save as much of the rootball as a possible on the first two which took a long time. That's when I decided to not worry about saving them. I found as I removed them that the roots were circling each other and they were planted a little too close to the house for their size. Plants should be planted at about half the distance of their ultimate width away from the house. These were way too close!
I managed to get all five of the hollies, the crabapple, and a spirea removed from the front porch garden. The spirea was transplanted to another location. I still need to remove several 'Emerald Gaiety' euonymouses and transplant two Russian sages, a lavendar, and several New York Celeste asters. I'm waiting on transplanting the Russian sage until after dormancy since they're finicky when transplanted otherwise. The asters already bloomed and really could use a dividing to rejuvenate them for next year.
I'll show you some before an after pictures in my next post - stay tuned!