Digging up a grass tree (Xanthorrhoea) can be a challenging task due to its deep and extensive root system. Here’s a general guideline on how to dig up a grass tree:

1. Prepare the necessary tools: 

You’ll need a sharp shovel, a mattock or axe, a pruning saw, and protective gloves.

2. Assess the size and age of the grass tree: 

Larger and older grass trees will have more extensive root systems, making the task more difficult. Consider seeking assistance from a professional if you’re dealing with a particularly large or old grass tree.

3. Obtain any necessary permits: 

Check with your local council to ensure you have the required permits or permissions to remove the grass tree, as some species may be protected.

4. Plan the removal process: 

Determine the new location for the grass tree, ensuring it has enough space to grow and thrive. Consider the soil and lighting requirements of the specific species.

5. Prune the foliage: 

Use a pruning saw to remove the majority of the foliage from the grass tree, cutting it as close to the trunk as possible. This will reduce the weight and bulkiness during the removal process.

6. Start digging: 

Begin by digging a trench around the circumference of the grass tree, about 1 to 2 feet away from the trunk. Dig down to expose the roots.

7. Sever the lateral roots: 

Use a sharp shovel or mattock to sever the lateral roots, starting from the trench and working your way inward. Be careful not to damage the main taproot.

8. Remove the taproot: 

Once the lateral roots are severed, carefully dig around the taproot to expose it. This may require some patience and persistence, as the taproot can be quite deep.

9. Lift and transplant: 

With the taproot exposed, carefully lift the grass tree, ensuring you have enough support to handle its weight. Transplant it to the new location, backfilling the hole with well-draining soil.

10. Water and provide care: 

After transplanting, water the grass tree thoroughly and provide appropriate care based on its specific needs, including monitoring water requirements and protecting it from extreme weather conditions.

It’s important to note that grass trees have a slow growth rate and may take several years to recover from the transplanting process. If you’re unsure about digging up a grass tree yourself, consider consulting with the tree experts at Professional Tree Removal Melbourne who can provide guidance and assistance specific to your situation.