Relocating Trees: What Size Can Be Moved?

When it comes to relocating trees, size matters. Shrubs up to 3 feet tall and trees with a diameter of 1 inch or less (measured 6 inches above ground level) can be moved without digging a solid root ball. These and most three- to four-year-old plants can be transferred as bare root transplants. Homeowners can safely move a tree with a diameter of 2 inches or less within their own yard.

Anything larger than 4 inches should be handled by professionals. The first step in relocating a tree is to analyze the species and size. This will tell us what methods to use. Generally speaking, any tree with a trunk diameter (gauge) less than 10 can be moved with a shovel.

Anything bigger will require the use of heavy equipment to dig and transport it. Smaller trees can be moved with a tree shovel, which can dig the new hole and 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 even be moved with cranes.

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. Davey's affiliate, National Shade, can move even bigger trees. The difference between moving a smaller tree and a larger one is the equipment needed for the job. However, many large trees end up in the chimney simply because people don't know they can be moved for reasons such as making way for construction.

Trees take some time to mature and provide their full potential for shade, beauty and other environmental benefits. Most trees will adapt to new environments over time if given proper time and care, irrigation, fertilization and preparatory root pruning prior to transplantation. When it comes to palm trees, they require different methods than other types of trees. Depending on the size of the smaller trees, they can be excavated and moved with anything from digging shovels to tree shovels.

If you want to move a tree that's alone in your yard closer to your fence or other tree friends, fall or winter is usually the best time to do so. However, local climatic factors such as annual rainfall patterns, snow cover, and frozen ground should also be taken into account. If mature trees are getting in the way of developing or building the landscape on your property, you may need to relocate them. The process involves excavating all the earth from the original site and transporting it back to fill up the new hole.

If the tree needs to be removed but cannot be replanted immediately, it will need to be stored somewhere and watered until it can be replanted.

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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