How to Transplant a Tree

How to Transplant a Tree

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Tree transplant is a complex process that cannot be carried out without the help of highly qualified specialists. In this article you will learn when your trees need replanting, main steps of this process , as well as how to care for the tree after replanting.

Why Should You Transplant a Tree?

Due to the intensive suburban development and construction, the method of landscaping with transplantation  of mature trees and shrubs is very popular. The prospect of creating a shady alley or a grove in an empty open space without having to wait for decades until saplings grow  into mature trees and create one has always inspired private plot owners.

Sometimes,the owners, when moving to a new location, want to keep several trees they had planted in their old house and move them to another location.

A Few Things to Consider Before Transplanting

Transplanting a tree is quite a complicated process. Firstly, large trees cannot be transplanted without certain skills and special equipment. Secondly, during transplanting the tree loses part of its root system, and it is difficult for it to restore the normal functioning of water exchange processes, as a result, its immunity to diseases decreases, and the tree becomes more vulnerable to negative environmental influences.

Replanting trees requires a careful approach because many factors must be taken into account, for example:

  • It is better to transplant in the cold season (except for severe frosts) so that trees do not lose a lot of moisture;
  • Before transplanting, the trees should be carefully inspected. They should be healthy, with no signs of aging, and in good condition;
  • Trees should be dug up with a sufficiently large root ball;
  • The excavated clump of soil should be covered and packed;
  • After transplanting large trees, they should be reinforced with special tools.

To get the transplanted tree used to its new environment without problems, proper care must be arranged. As a rule, it takes about one year for a mature tree to fully adapt, provided the owners follow  simple but obligatory care:

  • regular intensive watering;
  • mulching, loosening the soil around the trunk;
  • protection against frost;
  • feeding the plant with special mineral fertilizers;
  • constant protection against all types of pests.

As practice shows, deciduous species show a higher degree of adaptation compared to conifers. When planning to transplant, it should be kept in mind that the maximum age of deciduous species is 30 years, the same figure for conifers is about 5 years more.

How Is a Tree Transplant Performed?

Before proceeding with a tree transplant you should find an answer to the next questions:

  • What is the purpose of the transplant – to provide shade, to protect from the wind, or to beautify the space with the tree?
  • Have you chosen the right place to transplant the tree? Can the crown and root system fully grow in this space?
  • Are there any utilities and communications at the transplant place or electrical wires that will interfere with the tree’s crown?

Preparing for the Tree Transplant

Preparations for transplanting the tree are carried out in advance: the root system is rejuvenated, and a sanitary pruning of the crown is done. Before transplanting, the plant is carefully inspected and, if necessary, fertilized, pests are destroyed, and possible damages are treated. Before digging up the plant, it is thoroughly watered. 

Tree Transplant Steps 

After careful preparations, it is time to dig up the tree and move it to its new location. 

  1. Dig up the tree with a large root ball of earth (at least 10 times the diameter of the trunk). Try not to damage the roots and make sure that the ball is strong enough so it will not collapse during transportation. 
  2. Cut excess roots and branches and treat them with protective agents.
  3. Prepare the hole. The diameter of the hole should be the size of the rootball.
  4. Apply complex fertilizers to the hole, but be careful not to overdo it. 
  5. Place the tree in the planting hole and cover it with soil.
  6. Around the perimeter of the hole create a small earth mound, so that the water does not flow out, but gets to the roots.
  7. Water the tree abundantly and repeat watering in two days. 
  8. If necessary, strengthen the tree with support or stretching. 
  9. Spread mulch under the tree to suppress weed growth and moisture retention. 


Transplanting trees is a technically complex process. It is also very distressing for the plant itself. Therefore, if there is a desire to ennoble or enrich the landscape with tall trees with branchy luxurious crowns, you should turn to specialists who will organize the delivery and planting of large trees at all stages: from the moment of selecting a particular specimen, determining the place of tree planting and direct planting in the ground.

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