What size tree can be moved and replanted?

Typically, a homeowner can safely move a tree that has a diameter of 2 inches or less within their own yard. Above 4 inches should be handled by professionals. Species and size are the first components we analyze, as they will tell us what we need to know to use the best methods. Generally speaking, any tree with a trunk diameter (gauge) less than 10 can be moved with a shovel.

Whatever we can't move with a shovel, we'll use old labor and heavy equipment to dig and transport it. Usually, a large tree loses a significant part of its roots in a transplant. This makes it difficult for the tree to recover once it is replanted in a new location. The key to successfully transplanting a large tree is to help the tree grow roots that can travel with it to its new location.

Smaller trees can be moved with a tree shovel, a device that can dig the new hole, as well as excavate and transport the tree. Larger trees may require digging, wrapping, or wrapping the root ball and then transporting it by truck. Some trees can be moved with cranes. The company claims a 98 percent success rate, although Cox insists that it has never lost a large tree that it has moved.

In fact, he says that moving can even increase the longevity of an old tree, because it is revitalized by the good soil in its new site and the fresh cuts that allow its roots to grow back. Reed said his teams hand-dig root balls up to about three feet wide, beyond which they have to resort to a tree shovel. This is 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. Companies like Davey and Big Trees can move trees with logs up to 9 inches in diameter, about 30 feet tall, using their truck-mounted shovels.

Continuing proper care after the move is vital to your survival, as a tree can have a transition period of three to five years or more as it settles into your new home. Most of the trees that National Shade moves are historically important, protected by tree conservation laws, or are a topic of great interest to the community, and often hinder development, Cox says. The timing of this usually equates to fall or winter, but different trees have some preferences and local climatic factors, such as annual rainfall patterns, snow cover, and frozen ground, should also be taken into account. Then the entire mechanism is lifted to lift the tree and the cone-shaped root ball from the ground, which can weigh several tons.

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. The root ball can be dug by hand or excavated with serious equipment called a hydraulic tree shovel. Planting a seed or young tree and waiting a decade or two isn't the only way to have good sized trees in your garden. The hole doesn't have to be particularly deep; most tree roots grow on top two to three feet (0.6 to 0.9 m) above the ground.

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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