Transplanting wild trees - opinions?

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Budman, Oct 24, 2002.

  1. Budman

    Budman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 65

    I was planning to transplant some small trees that are growing wild near my property to an area closer to the house. I have my eye on some sycamores, tulip poplars and sugar maples that are each less than four feet tall, probably about 1 - 1.5" trunk diameter. I had planned to tag the trees that I want, and then dig them up and replant in late November after the leaves have dropped and they have gone dormant. I feel that this should allow the root systems to get somewhat established before the hot, dry summer gets here. I have been told that you can almost bare-root saplings and small trees at this time. Is this true? Either way, I think that my chances for success would increase if I maximize the size of the root ball. Is this the best time of the year to transplant trees? Should I get this done before we have a hard freeze?

    Also, should I apply any kind of fertilizer to help the roots establish themselves? If so, what type? What about existing, established trees - when and what kind of fertilizer?

    Thanks for the help!
  2. Alan

    Alan Member
    Messages: 1,185

    My experience has been limited to trees we dug with as big a root ball as we could handle. Burlapped them as we dug them out and handled them as carefully as possible. Watered the dickens out of them until the ground froze and started with the water again as soon as the ground thawed in the spring. Granted, frozen ground is probably not a consideration where you are (lucky bahstud :) ) Haven't lost any yet that way.
  3. crawdad

    crawdad LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,938

    Before you plant a sycamore near your house, remember how fast, and how big they grow. they get huge, and have a tendency to be shallow rooted and blow over when conditions are right. Two or three days rain, high wind takes them down.
  4. DaddyRabbit

    DaddyRabbit LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 937

    Budman, I have done this plenty of times and the maples are the easiest of all. I would measure out to 1' to 1.5' and go around the trunk of the tree in a circle pushing a shovel in the ground only keeping the distance away from the trunk as I stated earlier. When the circle has been made leave it be for 3 weeks and then hopefully you will have a FEL to make life easy on you. You can use a nylon strap and put pressure on the tree as you finish digging it up. I use only bone meal for trees. The only tree I never could get to make it was a "white oak". Good luck

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