Today’s Guide: How to Move a Tree

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Best Practices On How To Move A Tree

Flowers, plants, shrubs, and trees are great ways to add color to a barren yard. Adding new life to a backyard is also a great way to improve the landscape and curb appeal of any home. However, even with the best planning, sometimes these plants need to be moved to a new location. Moving flowers and small bushes are usually not a problem and can be easily tackled on a Saturday afternoon, but moving a tree is a bigger project. Not all homeowners know how to move a tree the right way. Before deciding to move your favorite tree, doing your research gives your tree a better chance of thriving in its new location.

How to Move a Tree

Whether you need to move a tree because it requires more sunlight, more shade, or it is just too large for its current space, here are some tips to make the process easier.

Plan for the spring.

Spring is the best time to replant a tree because it has the entire summer season to establish strong roots. Moving a tree in any other season shortens the time it has to repair and heal from the relocation, potentially causing premature death.

Plan in advance.

It may seem like a long time, but you should decide to move a tree at least a year in advance. If you begin to notice that a tree should be moved, be patient and plan to move it next spring instead. This year, you should root-prune the tree first.

Root-prune the tree.

Root pruning a tree a year in advance is the best way to set the tree up for success. Start by digging a trench around the tree. To determine where to place the trench, measure how many inches the trunk of the tree is and then measure that number of feet out from the base. If the trunk is five inches, you will dig a trench five feet away from the base. Dig at least 18 inches deep before filling the trench in with the loosened soil.

Prepare for replanting.

After a year, return to the tree and cut a circle approximately another foot outside of the original trench. Water the area before taking a shovel under the root mass and lifting the tree. Be careful to keep as much ground with the roots as possible to keep them healthy. Once the tree has been removed from the ground, wrap the roots in a tarp, so they remain damp and shaded.

In the space you want to replant the tree, dig a new hole that is two feet larger than the root mass on the tree. Place the tree in the hole and spread the roots out to fill it before adding dirt. Add a layer of soil and then stop to water, continuing the pattern until the hole is filled and the roots are entirely covered.

Continued care.

Continue to water the tree, ensuring that the ground settles in firmly around the tree roots. Create a levee of soil a few feet away from the tree base to help keep water near the roots and encourage faster growth. It is also important to prune the tree after replanting because no matter how careful you are, some of the roots won’t make it. Without the original number of roots, the tree won’t be able to gather the right amount of nutrients and water to keep it living. After a year, this is time to apply fertilizer if the tree doesn’t appear to be growing well on its own.

Moving a tree isn’t a one-day project. The tree will require attention for a couple of years following the transplant. If you need assistance with tree and lawn care, contact the team at Perennial Lawn Care today!

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