Do's and Don'ts of Tree Transplanting

Trees are an important part of our home's landscaping plan. They provide shade, protection, and natural beauty around your property. Trees can even help lower your home's energy costs by 7%

Many homeowners are often faced with the obstacle of moving a tree to a new location in their yard. It can be tricky to transfer a tree without affecting its health and longevity. Yet, certain tips and techniques can help make for a safer and more successful transfer. 

Read on to learn the do's and dont's of proper tree transplanting. 

DO Your Research When Picking a New Home for a Tree

Transplanting trees the right way involves some background knowledge. Some trees transport better than others and different tree species have varying needs. This includes sun exposure, soil preferences, and drainage levels.

The tree's new location should be able to accommodate the species of tree you're moving. Start by considering the size of the tree and how much larger it will grow. Planting a tree too close to the home can create issues for its foundation or roofing.  

You should also find out where your underground utilities are. Always make sure your tree transfer does not interfere with these.

Power lines and neighbor's homes can also get damaged when moving a tree. This is why professional tree services carry insurance and use special techniques. 

DO Pick the Best Season to Move a Tree

The best time to transplant trees is during the spring or fall months. This is when the tree is most dormant. It will give the tree a better chance of establishing roots and gathering nutrients. 

During summer, trees get a large and uninterrupted flow of water from the ground. This is to help feed its leaves and fruits as the tree grows.

Moving it during this time can shock the tree. This will make it have more trouble during the transplanting phase and the tree may suffer. 

It's best to move fruit trees and oaks during the spring season. Do this before spouting occurs on the tree for the best results. 

Trees can also be moved during the fall season, before the first frost hits. Frozen soil can make for a harder transfer process. Colder temperatures can also contribute to root damage for a newly transplanted tree. 

It's best to move a tree on a cloudy and non-windy day, or in the later afternoon. This gives the tree a full night to adjust to changes.

Wind, sun, and hotter temperatures can interfere with the transplant process. Roots are sensitive to these elements, making it more difficult for the tree.  

DON'T Try to Move an Unhealthy Tree

There are certain situations where it may not be a great idea to transplant a tree. It's not recommended to move a tree that is dying or deteriorating.  

Some tree types can go on to live for hundreds of years. Studies even show palm trees are capable of living well past 700 years. Pests, diseases, soil conditions, and weather patterns can kill a tree much quicker than this. 

Sometimes a sick tree can be saved with proper care without spreading any disease to other trees. Yet, most times these trees will need to be removed from your property. 

Stressed or sick trees will not likely be able to handle a transplant. This would likely result in killing the tree or causing extra damage. 

DO Prep Your Tree Before the Move

It's crucial to take enough time to prepare your tree for a move. This includes extra care when watering, fertilizing, and pruning the roots of your transplant tree. You'll want to make the digging up and replanting process as quick as possible to protect the tree roots. 

It's important to water the tree 24 hours before the transplant. This will get the roots fully soaked so the entire tree is well-hydrated. It also offers a better digging experience.

Then water the tree again right before you dig it up. This helps more soil to stick to the tree's roots as you move it.    

After uprooting the tree, it's helpful to secure the canopy of the tree. Tie it up or protect the tree with a tarp to keep branches from breaking as you move the tree. A tarp will also help lock in moisture during the moving process. 

Be sure to water the new hole that your tree will be placed into. The soil should be a muddy consistency. 

Once the tree is inserted into the hole, cover its roots about halfway with soil. Then you will need to water the tree again. Fill the remaining space with more soil and pat the soil down around the tree.  

DON'T Forget Proper Tree Care After Transplant

Relocating tree services recommend taking proper care of your tree to help it root. It can take 2 years for a tree to fully establish itself in its new home. During this time the tree is more sensitive and needs extra care. 

Younger trees likely take better to a transplant, as their roots are easier to manage. More mature trees often need a longer care period. 

Be sure to offer a good watering right after the tree transplant. Water both the roots and the leaves of the tree. 

It's important to keep the tree hydrated during the entire process. You'll want to water the tree daily as it takes root. Hotter temperatures may even call for watering twice a day.

It's also helpful to try and block the sun from the tree for a few days. You can use a cover for smaller trees. Be sure to keep up with fertilization and pest control for your transplanted tree.  

Ensuring a Successful Tree Transplanting

These tips will help you to get through the tree transplanting process. They will also work to further protect the health of your tree. Younger and smaller trees, as well as certain species, are easier to move.

If you get into any issues a tree transplantation or tree removal service can help. Learn more about how Green Topps can enhance your home's landscaping. 

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