How to Know if a Transplanted Tree Will Survive

Trees that are transplanted can be vulnerable to a variety of environmental factors, making it difficult to determine whether they will survive. To assess the health of your tree, you can look for signs such as off-season coloration, twig and branch flexibility, and bark color. Pulling a twig out of your tree can tell you if it is still alive. If it comes off easily, that branch is dead or weak; if it is flexible and requires a little effort to pull it out, your tree is still alive.

Scratching the bark with your fingernail can also reveal whether the inside is brown or green. Other signs of a dying tree include yellowing or darkening of the leaves, curling, wilting, and burning around the edges of the leaves. If the branch breaks quickly, most likely the tree is dying or is already dead. Any of these factors, including the transport of the discovered tree, could cause the problems you described. To ensure your tree's survival, make sure that the ground is moistened at least 2 feet each time it rains or supplement the rain with watering.

Additionally, apply a thick layer of organic mulch over the roots to conserve moisture and moderate soil temperatures. Next spring, new growth will show you the true extent of the damage, if any. Watering your tree correctly is also essential for its survival. Trees need oxygen and giving them too much water prevents the roots from adequately absorbing the air needed to survive. Generally speaking, trees require two deep irrigations per week during their main growing seasons, which are spring and summer.

In autumn and winter, trees require a watering session only once every few weeks. If your tree was transplanted from a nursery, for example, you may experience a number of stressors that cause it to settle poorly in your new environment. Inspection of trees should include an examination of the bark, stems and leaves for any signs of pests or abnormal appearance of plant structure. If you suspect that your newly planted tree has fallen ill, you should contact a certified arborist to see if the tree can be rescued or if it should be removed instead. Research has shown that a tree planted at the right depth, in a hole of sufficient size to accommodate the tree's expanding root system, is much more likely to survive than one planted incorrectly. Another factor in determining how much water a tree might need is the climate in which it will be planted.

Seedlings of trees that have lived for several years and grown in comfortable cultural conditions develop and thrive in a careful and natural balance of leaf surface and root growth. This simply means shoveling the roots around the tree at a comfortable distance from the trunk.

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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