Privet Hedge – Transplanting

Q: I have some of the famous University of Georgia hedges (salvaged after the Auburn game in ’95) that I would like to transplant to a new house. My plant is thirty inches wide and five feet tall. What should I do now to prepare it for the move?

A: I spent much of my childhood resenting the privet hedge which you hold in such high regard. On chilly December days my father would detail me to drag a small chain, which was hitched to his tractor, through a thicket of privet and wrap it ’round a privet stump. With a yell from me, the tractor would lurch forward and pull the privet from the underbrush. I would crawl back out, limber twigs snapping me in the face, to unwrap the chain, drag it back to another stump and repeat the process.

For a boy who would rather be watching “The Popeye Club” on television, privet hedge was not my favorite plant, not by a long shot.

The hedge that has intimidated hundreds of opposing football teams is nothing but Chinese privet, ^Ligustrum sinense^. Dr. Michael Dirr remarks that it grows anywhere that birds fly. It is high on the Invasive Plants lists kept by most naturalists. This explains why my father and I never obliterated it from the farm and why two hundred pound linebackers can hardly dent it.

I would prepare it for the move by standing in front of it and announcing “I’m going to move you.” Immediately grab a shovel and dig it out, keeping on the plant as many roots as you can. Plant it in full sun at your new abode, yell “Go Dawgs!!”, water it thoroughly, and rest assured that you have done all you need to do.

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