Owning Your Outdoors: Transplanting Trees

Owning Your Outdoors: Transplanting a Tree

This week on Owning Your Outdoors our Lewis yard and garden expert, Doug Schroeder, has tips for transplanting trees.


Things to consider

  • Is the tree worth moving? Common varieties that do not cost much.
  • Is the location that you are moving the tree to a good match for the tree

When to move

  • Deciduous trees should be moved in spring before they leaf out or in the fall after they drop their leaves.
  • Evergreens should be not be moved during a flush growth spurt. Late summer is a good time.

How to move

  • Determine the size of root ball you will need to successfully move the tree. Deciduous trees root ball size is determined by diameter of the trunk.   Evergreen is determined by the spread of the branches.  There are charts for reference that can be found on line.
  • Dig the new hole where you will be moving the tree once you know the approximate size of the root ball. The hole should we twice as wide and as deep as the root ball.
  • Begin to dig up the tree to be moved. Larger tree will need to trenched around the root ball.   Prune roots as you dig your trench around the tree.  After it is trenched you can pry your root ball free and remove from the hole.  Mark north on tree.
  • Move tree as quickly as possible. The tree should be positioned in the hole so that the ground line is even or just a bit higher than the outer ground line.  Position the north mark to the north.   Then back fill.
  • Add water to the hole as you fill the hole. After the tree is transplanted water the tree so it is moist but not over watered.   Apply a 3” layer of mulch.
  • The tree will need to be watered so the soil is moist for a month after transplanting.