Moving Trees

A sure way to create a mature feel is to transplant large trees to a site. Large trees can be moved using a mechanical tree spade. Smaller trees can be hand-duug and transported in a box or balled and burlapped.

Trees can be harested from their natural environment using a method called wilding. Over the course of a 3-year process, sections of roots are dug up, trimmed and then backfilled with organic material.

Digging up a root ball can remove as much as 95 percent of absorbing roots so it must be done with great care to keep stress at a minimum. Digging during the trees non-growing (dormant) season gives the injured root system a chance to recover before it has to supply the trunk and canopy with water and nutrients during the growing season.

Be sure to keep the root ball moist during transplant. Surrounding soil should also be kept moist following transplant, but overwatering will kill the tree as fast as underwatering.

Some species tolerate being moved better than others. Trees that don’t relocate well include Birch, Dogwood and Magnolia. Some types that move well include: Alder, Elm, Hackberry, Linden, Planetree, Honeylocust, Pinoak and Pear.

Often a large tree that has been relocated will require guy wires to hold the tree in place while the roots get established. Guy wires and their connections should be inspected frequently to make sure no damage is being done to the trunk.

Fertilizers are not recommended at the time of transplant because they can increase the risk of transplant shock by increasing the tree’s metabolism.

In order to find a qualified tree moving service, check the yellow pages.

This tree spade has four spades that are hydraulically forced into the soil digging up the tree and keeping the root system intact.

This tree spade has four spades that are hydraulically forced into the soil digging up the tree and keeping the root system intact.