Transplanting cedars with the skid - need ideas

swanny

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Communism
I've got a job transplanting 11' tall 4' wide virginia cedars...could be a couple dozen. Did this a few years back but I had more helping hands.

My plan is to dig around the trees (drip line) with a stick hoe...a couple feet deep. Take my forks with the shovel attachment on the end and push underneath the root ball...then pick up and put the ball on a pallet, and the pallets get loaded on the trailer. It's only a few miles down the road to the transfer site so I don't even bother wrapping the roots, plus the ground is plenty wet right now.

The difficult part...this is where I could use some ideas...is getting the tree off the pallet into the hole. Without help this part is going to be a pain lifting up the pallet and sliding the trees into the hole in their final position. I'm thinking about making two or three straps that would go underneath the ball while on the pallet with eyelets for ends that would loop into the forks spread as far wide as they can go...creating a basket that would able me to have more control lowering the ball into the hole, then backing the forks out and pulling up one side of the straps out from underneath the ball.

Any ideas? Thanks!
 
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swanny

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Communism
Rent a tree spade to get them out and to dig new holes.
I considered that but it's too expensive and my current machine isn't big enough. Friend of mine has both, but I don't feel like the hassle of getting them and returning them each time I need them since I'm not doing this in consecutive days.
 

Bleed Green

LawnSite Bronze Member
So you don't have help? I was gonna say we use a balk-cart to get the trees to the hole if we can't use a skid steer to get them there. Then we have several guys roll them into the hole with one guy guiding the top of the tree.
 
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swanny

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Communism
So you don't have help? I was gonna say we use a balk-cart to get the trees to the hole if we can't use a skid steer to get them there. Then we have several guys roll them into the hole with one guy guiding the top of the tree.
No people help. A tree cart isn't going to work on the size of balls I get out on the tree. I don't really get a ball either....more like a big chunk/nugget of earth and roots.
 

bobcat_ron

LawnSite Fanatic
You have a pallet forks right? Grab a set of forks from some one and slide 2 extra forks into your pallet fork carriage so you have a total of 4 fork tines, use that for getting under the tree, I saw that Roger dude on This Old House on PBS do it with his T300, worked slick.

I would also just rent a bunch of fork attachments and just use them as pallets, pop the quick attach off and pick up the next set of forks, no messing around with moving them off and on skids.
 
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swanny

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Communism
You have a pallet forks right? Grab a set of forks from some one and slide 2 extra forks into your pallet fork carriage so you have a total of 4 fork tines, use that for getting under the tree, I saw that Roger dude on This Old House on PBS do it with his T300, worked slick.

I would also just rent a bunch of fork attachments and just use them as pallets, pop the quick attach off and pick up the next set of forks, no messing around with moving them off and on skids.
that's very helpful..thanks, Ron.
 

BrandonV

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Central NC
sub it to someone with a tree spade... that or don'e warranty it you'll be surprised how many of these you'll mess up doing it w/o a spade
 

muddywater

LawnSite Bronze Member
why can't you do it all at once with a tree spade? Seems like you could make a lick subbing out to a tree farm that needs work.
 

NEUSWEDE

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
Maine
I don't understand why you wont burlap them? will take you all of an extra 5min per tree and probably $3 per tree. Cheap insurance and will keep the root ball together. We always root prune with a shovel go in with the forks close together break it free set it on 2 pieces of burlap cris crossed tie it and set it on the trailer. Thats not very hard as opposed to putting it on a pallet and having to get it off.
 

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