What Size Tree Can I Transplant Safely?

When it comes to transplanting trees, size matters. It's important to make sure the tree or shrub you're moving is a manageable size. Generally, 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 usually safely move a tree with a diameter of 2 inches or less within their own yard. For trees larger than 4 inches in diameter, it's best to call in the professionals. Smaller trees can be moved with a tree shovel, which is designed to 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.

In some cases, cranes may be necessary for moving the tree. The cost of moving a tree depends on several factors, including its size, the distance it must travel, and the topography of the site. To ensure successful transplanting of a large tree, it's important to help it grow roots that can travel with it to its new location. This is often necessary when the tree is growing in an “inconvenient” place for the project or when conservation of the tree is desirable, politically expedient or required by local ordinance.

The cost of moving or transplanting large trees varies depending on several key factors. To move a large tree, a mechanism is used to lift the tree and its cone-shaped root ball from the ground - which can weigh several tons. In some cases, circumstances such as the slope of the land or the proximity of the tree to a house can make moving prohibitively expensive. The equipment needed for moving larger trees is much more extensive than for smaller ones.

When pruning roots prior to transplanting, mark a circle of the desired ball size around the tree or shrub and then dig a trench just outside the circle. Trees that are difficult to move (beech, walnut, sweet gum, hornbeam, sassafras, tupelo, walnut and white oak) need larger brushes than trees that are easy to transplant. Companies that specialize in moving large trees claim a 98 percent success rate, although they insist they have never lost a large tree that they have moved.

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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