Tree transplantingTree Transplanting: What You Need to Know

January 19, 2018
Tree Transplanting: What You Need to Know
To transport a tree, the best time of year is when the tree is dormant itself is dormant and when the weather is moderate.

Successful tree transplanting requires proper technique. Here’s an overview of all you need to know.  

Planting in the Right Season

To transport a tree, the best time of year is when the tree is dormant itself is dormant and when the weather is moderate. Fall or early Spring are the perfect times of year as tree growth focuses on the root system and it will still be able to receive adequate rainfall. In the summer, the tree produces carbohydrates that are directed to the root system in the following fall, which lessens the need for additional or supplemental irrigation.   

The Relationship Between Soil and Water

It’s important that your newly transplanted tree have the proper drainage and a soil pH between 5.5 and 6.5. You can determine the pH of the soil by testing it; and you can test the soil drainage by digging a hole and filling it with water, then examining if the water has drained after 24 hours. If drainage is a problem, you can use a drain tile to divert water. To manipulate soil pH, use dolomitic lime to raise it and sulfur or aluminum sulfate to lower it.

For newly transplanted trees, it’s important to compensate for the damage that the roots may have suffered during the process of being dug out of its original location. For the first two years, be sure to water the tree weekly, directly to the roots.  

Depth and Space

There is a such no thing as digging your hole too deep when planting a tree. If it’s too deep, you can cause the tree to suffocate under the depth of the soil. Take note of the tree’s original plant depth and try to duplicate that at the new location. Also, the width of the hole should be about a foot wider than the root ball or spread of roots.  

The Balance Between Care and Neglect

Establish an appropriate balance between the amount of care you give the newly transplanted tree and how rough you are with it. Be careful not to damage the tree by exposing it to too much wind or sun. Carry it by the plant’s root ball or container, and carefully place the tree into its new home, rather than dropping it in. On the other hand, don’t fertilize the tree or give it too much attention as adequate watering and mulch will be enough.

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