Successful tips for transplanting trees
To move or not to move is the question but then again this is not a question pre-say but something that many home gardeners wrestle with. There is nothing like having a nice healthy tree that is growing so well then one day you notice that your tree was installed in the wrong place.
Maybe it has become a security hazard or it may have outgrown that area or some other reason but whatever the reason you don’t want to touch that tree. I know what I will do I will prune it back.
While pruning has its benefits sometimes you just have to move the tree, so suck it up, take a deep breathe or swallow and go for it don’t let fear cause you to freeze, like the Nike sign, says JUST DO IT however, this calls for some know-how before making an attempt.
Tree transplanting failures
I have seen so many trees that have died under the care of many major landscaping companies, trees that were worth thousands. I myself have also faced this problem over the years the trees were not in the thousands of dollars but to lose those trees was not a good experience but hey who’s perfect we all learn and get better as we increase our knowledge.
Tree Transplanting Methods
Here are some cool tips that will help you along the way. Don’t sweat it, before you know it you will be on your way to having much success with these tips.
There are two methods basically in which to remove trees except for container-grown trees.
- Bare root method
- Soil ball method
Container grown plant
I know you will agree that container-grown plants are among the easiest to transplant. It is all a matter of knowing what plant material you are working with, as far as height and diameter or spread of the plant is concerned along with light requirements. This is very important so that your plant can have sufficient room to grow along with adequate sunlight.
Bare root method-(no soil around or attached to plant roots)
Using this method is easy to maneuver plants. The downside is that some plant species have a harder time becoming established because roots tend to dry out much faster and the loss of plant roots is also greater with this method along with some loss of top growth(foliage or leaves). With the bare-root, the method installs the tree as quickly as possible.
- A third of the top growth should also be removed the reason being the top growth makes a big demand on the root system so by removing a third of the top growth will place less demand for water on the root system that is using energy trying to be re-establish by putting forth new roots.
- Remove any roots that are damaged
- The planting hole should be wide and deep enough for roots to sit comfortably. The plant should be installed where the base of the plant is above ground while all the roots are underground. If a part of the truck is allowed to be planted underground your plant roots will suffocate along with your plants suffering from vitamin deficiencies. Your planting too deeply.
- Using organic soil is a plus. A key here is to know your plant’s soil requirements
- Form a catch basin around your plant, the reason for this is that the catch basin will not only hold water but will also direct water into the root zone
Soil ball method
This technique involves removing the plant with a good amount of soil attached to the roots of the tree in a ball. This method is often used on large trees especially when transplanting palms.
The soil ball is wrapped in burlap and then watered, this will keep the plant in good condition until time to install. At the time of planting burlap can be removed from the rootball or it can remain on the rootball just lose from your plant and spread in the hole. Burlap is bio-degradable and will break down over time.
Follow these tips as shown under the bare root method the only difference is when using the soil ball method the planting hole should be two times that of the root ball. The reason for this is so that the root ball can sit comfortably in the planting hole.
Tree Transplanting Methods
Other transplanting tips
- While transplanting palm trees tie fronds or branches with strips of burlap, twine, or other bio-degradable straps. This procedure will keep the plants from shifting until it’s established. Once established manually remove straps or if preferred leave straps, because they are bio-degradable they will break down and loosen because of the elements( sun, rain, and wind)
- Mix native soil with organic soil and place in the hole
- Next place the tree in the whole ensuring it is erected
- Then backfill with the soil
- If the tree needs to stake then do so at this time
- Form a catch basin around the tree trunk
- With a garden host allow water to fill the basin, the water will not only be directed into the root ball but will allow the soil to settle around rots removing any air pockets which can cause roots to dry out
- keep the soil moist at all times not waterlogged. You don’t want roots to dry out because this a critical time for plants to re-establish
- Fertilize with a balanced fertilizer. When using fertilizers read and follow the label because the label is the law
- Depending on the size of the tree, tree stakes or support can be removed after 8-16 months
The final word
These methods can be effective whether you are removing your tree from one area to the next or you are installing new plants. So give these tips a try your tree will love you for it.
About the author
Norman loves being in the garden, both at home and for his job....
he is 'Natures Little helper' being outdoors, growing his vegetables and flowers from an early age.
Now having spent over 22 years in the profession he want to give some of his knowledge to others...
his vast array of hints and tips you will find scattered over this site will help you no end growing plants in your garden.