Can a tree survive the movement?

But a tree is a living organism and even if best practices are followed, there is no guarantee that a tree will survive by being taken out of one place and transplanted somewhere else. Similar to moving smaller, manageable trees, transplanting large trees is possible with the right strategies, patience, and experience. Luckily, trees can be easily relocated if you do so at the right time of year. However, young trees relocate better than more established ones, which are more difficult to move, especially if they have been in one place for more than five years.

The roots of trees and shrubs normally grow far beyond the volume of soil that can be moved. To keep most roots within a small area, prune roots in spring or fall before transplanting. Plants that move in autumn (October or November) should be pruned roots in March, and plants that move in spring (March) should be pruned roots in October. Prune roots only after leaves have fallen from deciduous plants in autumn or before buds sprout in the spring.

Plants can suffer serious damage if done at other times. The roots within the pruned area develop many branches and form a strong root system within a confined area. If the root is not pruned, the plant may die from transplant shock due to root loss. Move the plant carefully using a cart, a rented ball cart, burlap or cardboard.

The goal is to keep the root ball intact. If the earthen ball breaks, it will break the roots inside and may cause the death of the plant. Make sure that the plant is placed at the same depth in the new hole and fill the root ball with topsoil. Lightly mulch three to four inches of mulch, keeping the mulch away from the trunk or stems of the plant, and make sure to provide adequate water throughout the next growing season.

When a tree is uprooted, potentially serious damage occurs to the root system, the crown and, in some cases, also to the trunk. Trees spread their roots far and deep, and when they are uprooted, several of these roots are broken. Not all uprooted trees can be saved, but in some cases you can successfully revive the tree by replanting it. However, even successfully replanted trees can suffer from transplant shock, so post-replanting care is very important.

Transplanting established trees and shrubs is a risky thing because it will damage many of the feeder roots during the transplant process. While most trees require you to dig large portions of their root ball when moving them, palm trees are a little different. If you're lucky enough to have the opportunity to move a tree in your project, yours could be one of them. If you have a large tree that you are interested in moving, it is always better to get a free quote to determine the approximate cost.

Let's see how to transplant a mature tree so that you can better understand if this is an option for your property. Transplanting a large tree from the field to the garden provides immediate shade, a visual focal point and vertical interest. This does not mean that all small trees will survive uprooting, but with proper care, a small tree uprooted has a chance of recovery. Roots that have been improperly fixed when planting can lead to slow growth or even the death of a tree or shrub after a few years.

Preserving a tree is often desirable for homeowners who value it so much that they do not want to see it damaged or felled. One of the worst things you can do to a tree or shrub you're moving is to expose the roots, as this will cause stress. Before digging the tree or shrub, check if it prefers a sunny or shady position, and any soil preferences, as well as the size it is likely to grow, so you can factor in how much space you'll need. Most companies that specialize in moving trees provide detailed aftercare instructions and will not guarantee any tree moving work if aftercare is not provided exactly to your specifications.

That's why when mature trees grow to a point where they get in the way of developing or building the landscape on your property, you can do anything to maintain them. Palm trees are an exception; because of how their roots grow, it is possible to dig closer to the trunk regardless of the height of the tree. According to Hanshaw, trees prefer different levels of shade and sun, as well as different soil drainage conditions. Often, the tree is growing in an “inconvenient” place for the project and the conservation of the tree is desirable, politically expedient or required by local ordinance.

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Bart Preti
Bart Preti

Hipster-friendly travel trailblazer. Wannabe pop culture fanatic. Devoted tv scholar. Passionate pop culture scholar. Devoted bacon expert. Avid coffee lover.

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