How to Transplant a 6 Foot Sago With 5 or 6 Mature Pups
The pups are crowded around the base and I would not care if they had to be eliminated. The trunk is about 2 feet in length. I live in northern California and the new location would be about 50 feet away in an area where 5 sagos that are as large or larger than the one I want to move. How far from the trunk and how deep should I dig?
''TRANSPLANTING or MOVING Cycads can be successful if a few guidelines are followed. Move sagos during winter or early spring when they are not actively growing.
If it is a relatively small one with trunk diameter of 4" or less, it won't be a big problem. First remove all but the uppermost ring of leaves - you will damage some roots in the transplant process so you must reduce the number of leaves to one ring of the topmost leaves - remove all others. This will also help you see the base of the plant while you are digging. Use a sharp shooter shovel (one that is straight and narrow, plus sharp at the end) and dig about 6" away from the trunk, at least 12" deep while retaining as many roots as possible. Using the shovel, gently crowbar it out of the ground.
Move it to a pre-dug hole slightly larger than the root-ball of the plant. Center the plant in the hole, being sure that the soil level is slightly above the old one, about an 1" (add soil to the bottom of the hole if needed). Backfill with a mixture of 1/2 peat moss and 1/2 garden soil that was removed from the hole. Water when the soil becomes almost dry. If transplanting is successful, new leaves will emerge by summer. It often takes a year or two for the Cycad to actively resume normal growth.
If you prefer to put the big sago in a large pot or box instead of planting it, use a container only slightly larger than the rootball.
If it is a large sago, with a trunk diameter of 6" or more and trunk height of over 12", then you will need plenty of help. Sago trunks and roots can be very heavy. Use the same procedure above, but dig a larger, deeper root-ball and hole.
If you have never transplanted a large palm or Cycad, then call your local landscape contractor and arrange to have them do it. I remember the first one our nursery ever dug - with a trunk diameter of 12" and height of 5'. It took two men an hour to dig the root ball, then we found it all so heavy that we had to bring our farm winch truck just to lift it out of the ground! Unless you have a winch truck handy, don't even try it. We moved about 2 more large ones over the years and then decided it was just too much trouble! ''
The above was taken from this article: http://www.rhapisgardens.com/sagos/