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6 Tips for Successful Tree Transplanting

Posted by: Samuel Hirshfield on September 30, 2013


Trees sold at the nursery are typically between 1 and 3 years old. Young trees are much easier to transplant for obvious reasons, but also because of the increased trauma incurred by mature trees with deeper root systems. Transplanted trees and shrubs die all the time due to improper removal and installation. For the best chance of tree transplanting success, consult these 6 professional tips before relocating your trees.


1. Transplant young trees.

Obviously. Large, mature tree will be harder to transport, risking even more damage in the relocation process. Saplings and semi-mature trees, however, fair quite well with the change in environment.

2. Pick the right location.

Understand your tree’s needs when it comes to shade and sunlight, and don’t just think aesthetically. A living tree in the corner of your yard is better than a dead tree on display.

4. Enlist some help.

You will need as many as four helpers to securely remove and transplant the tree without damage. If help is not available, renting a backhoe or a mini-excavator will do all the work and even save you time.

3. Minimize exposure time.

The longer your tree is out of the ground, the greater the risk of losing it. Be sure to dig your new hole before the removal so you can get your tree right in the ground.

5. Preserve the root ball.

The root ball is priority number one. You won’t be able to keep every bit of it intact, but try and get most of it. 

6. Water, water, and then water some more.

Prevent initial dehydration by walling up the soil around your tree to form a small basin to catch water. Be particularly attentive during the first summer as well, making sure your transplanted tree is always getting enough water.

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If you are planting trees as a privacy screen, take a look at our newest ebook on increasing backyard privacy. 

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Tags: DIY, tree, tree transplanting, backhoe, mini excavator rental, Mini Excavator, equipment rental