Moving a big tree

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Shawn Burns, Nov 4, 2003.

  1. Shawn Burns

    Shawn Burns LawnSite Member
    from N.C.
    Messages: 181

    i am planning to add on to my shop over the winter, and have a tree that is in the way and would like to move it to another place in the yard.
    The tree is a 13" maple, about 25' tall.
    I have talked to 3 different "tree movers" and gotten different opinions on wheather it will survive or not.
    Any of you have any experiance with moving a tree of this size?
    Any help would be much appreciated.
  2. NCSULandscaper

    NCSULandscaper Banned
    Messages: 1,557

    If you are going to do it, do it ASAP. Look for the company with the most experieince. The more experieince the higher survival rate they will have from what ive seen. If its done right then i see no reason why it shouldnt survive.
  3. ztoro

    ztoro LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 735

    if the root baller machine is big enough you should have now problem. I have seen a few machines that could easily move that tree.
  4. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Messages: 4,899

    The problem I see is finding a co. with a baller machine that large. and once you find one the cost around here to move it would be astonomical. I would replace it with 2 new ones 3 inch cal. for 1/2 the price of moving just m/o

  5. AztlanLC

    AztlanLC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,050

    If price is an issue, cut it down you won't find a good deal in this type of work, if done correctly the price and chance of survival will be high.
  6. Shawn Burns

    Shawn Burns LawnSite Member
    from N.C.
    Messages: 181

    Thanks for the replies.
    The problem that i have is that 2 of the
    co.'s i talked to said "sure, we can move it, no problem." The other co. says "no way, tree is too big. You will only have 50% survival rate at best."
    All of them have the same size spade. It willl pull a 90" root ball.
    From what i can gather, you need 10" of root ball for every 1" tree diameter. As i mentioned the tree is 13" diameter so i would need 130" of root ball.
    The 2 that say it's o.k. say that a maple is a hearty tree ( i agree) and that it will do fine.
    The other guy says that we should come in and root prune the tree with the spade while it has leaves on it and watch it for 3 months. If after 3 months it does not drop leaves we can move it then. If it does drop leaves to wait another year. So at best i have to wait another year to start this process and i don't have that much time !
    The prices were $350, $450, And $550 to do the relocation, so prices aren"t that much different.
    I was pretty sure about moving the tree until talking to the one guy who says it won't live.
    Any thoughts?
  7. brentsawyer

    brentsawyer LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 663

    I am in a sililar situation except mine is a 14' Colorado Blue and only half the size to move. But I did have to do some checking around w/ other people on issues of moving and root pruning. Here is what/who I've found most helpful. I would check w/ a university professor at UNC, these guys seem to know much more than local extension agents, at least locally for me. The guy that I talked w/ at UK was very helpful and had actual experience or knew of actual best practice and results for what I was doing. Hope this sparks some useful info yourway
  8. Team Gopher

    Team Gopher LawnSite Platinum Member
    from -
    Messages: 4,041

  9. ztoro

    ztoro LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 735

    For 350 its worth the try. As long as the guy is a professional he will pull a good ball. So far we transplanted 5 oaks(7 inchs) 1 pear(7 inches) and a douglas fir(about12 feet tall) early this summer and all are doing well. I have a friend with a tree farm and he is helping me turn my cow pasture into a forest. he had a new hollad skid steer and the top of the spades were about as wide as the machine.
  10. Grassmechanic

    Grassmechanic LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,697

    If you can somehow get a hold of the Charles Irish Landscaping in the Detroit, MI area, I'm sure they could give you some tips. They routinely move trees up to 22" diameter. I recall them doing some root pruning on larger trees before moving them.

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