Can Mature Trees Be Relocated Safely?

Transplanting trees has the best chance of success if you act during certain periods.


or spring are the ideal times to move mature trees, as this is when leaves have fallen or before buds sprout. Smaller trees can be moved with a tree shovel, while larger ones may require digging, wrapping, and transporting by truck. Cranes can also be used for some trees, but those with a diameter of 2 inches or less can usually be safely moved by a homeowner.

To keep most roots within a small area, prune them in spring or fall before transplanting. Plants moved in autumn (October or November) should be pruned in March, and plants moved in spring (March) should be pruned in October. Pruning should only be done after leaves have fallen from deciduous plants in autumn or before buds sprout in the spring. Doing so at other times can cause serious damage to the plant.

The roots within the pruned area will 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. Depending on the size of the smaller trees, they can be excavated and moved with anything from digging shovels to tree shovels. 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. The big difference between moving a smaller tree and a larger one is the equipment needed for the job.

Each tree also needed a custom frame made of steel attached on site and capable of supporting the integrity of the root ball and the weight of the tree. Trees that grow in loose, well-drained soil, such as sandy soil, will have more extensive or extensive root systems than trees that grow in hard, poorly drained soil, such as compact clay. Old House landscape contractor Roger Cook uses muscles and machines to safely move trees to new locations. To find the right tree care professional with the right training and experience to move your valuable tree, contact your local Davey office. Professionals will be able to help you decide not only if a tree is a good candidate for a transplant, but they will also help you find the best location for your long-term success. Ideally, a better time of year would be chosen for transplanting mature trees, but sometimes deadlines must be met and trees must be moved quickly.

In these cases, it is important to take all necessary precautions to ensure that the tree is relocated safely and without damage.

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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