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Old 10-03-2012, 11:11 PM
sgbotsford sgbotsford is offline
LawnSite Member
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Alberta, Canada
Posts: 107
Hmm. Depends on size of tree.

If it is at all possible, water the trees thoroughly 72 hours before you move them.

A 10 foot tree doesn't take a huge root ball. Figure on 1 foot spade diameter per inch of trunk diameter. Poplar and spruce can be moved with shallow root balls. Up to a 10 foot poplar, and up to a 6 foot spruce can be moved with a shovel, a roll of burlap, and a spool of baler twine. Digging time is about 15 minutes each. This is if done while trees are dormant.

Trees with tap roots (Pine, oak here.) take deeper root balls. Really you should prune the tap root the fall before moving them.

Easiest way would be to rent a potting spade and a bunch of pots of appropraite diameter. One for #20 pots would probably be sufficient. Whatever number of pots fits on a trailer, get twice that many pots. OR get 500 + load pots.

First scenario: The spade moves back and forth with each load.

Dig a tree. Drop into pot.
Repeat LOAD times.
Change to bucket.
Load a tree onto trailer.
Repeat LOAD times.

Take trees to new site.
Take potting spade to new site.
Use spade to dig hole. Put dirt into empty pot.
Repeat LOAD times.
Unpot tree, and plop into hole.
Repeat LOAD times.

Change to bucket.
Load pots full of dirt onto trailer.
Return to source site.
Empty pots into holes.

Start next load.

If you have enough pots, you can get multiple loads ready at source site, and manhandle them onto trailer with a ramp and dolly. Loading time is higher, but the potting spade moves back and forth less often.

You will lose some. Probably about 10% if you do this in early spring before they break dormancy. Somewhat less if you do it in fall. (Roots have more time to establish before bud break)

Would the following work:

At the source site, lift
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