Transplanting a tree can be a necessary step for a many reasons, such as if the tree is outgrowing its current location, or if it’s simply in the way of construction or new landscaping plans. The process of transplanting a tree can be quite traumatic for the tree, and it’s important to give it the time and care it needs to recover.

How long does it take a tree to recover from transplanting? The answer to this question can depend on a variety of factors, such as the size and species of the tree, the time of year it’s transplanted, the care it receives after transplanting, and the overall health of the tree.  In general, smaller trees are able to recover more quickly from transplanting than larger trees. This is because they have smaller root systems and require less energy to establish themselves in their new location. However, even a small tree can take several months to fully recover from transplanting.

For larger trees, the recovery process can take much longer. It’s not uncommon for a large tree to take two to three years to fully recover from transplanting. During this time, it’s important to provide the tree with plenty of water and nutrients, and to avoid disturbing the soil around its roots.

The time of year that a tree is transplanted can also have an impact on its recovery time. In general, the best time to transplant a tree is in the fall, winter or early spring, when the tree is dormant and the weather is cooler. This allows the tree to focus its energy on establishing new roots and adapting to its new environment, rather than on growing new leaves or flowers.

The aftercare provided after transplanting is also critical to the tree’s recovery. Newly transplanted trees require regular watering, especially during the first year after transplanting. The soil should be kept moist but not waterlogged, as excessive moisture can lead to root rot. In addition to watering, the tree should be fertilized and pruned as needed to promote healthy growth and development.

The overall health of the tree can impact its ability to recover from transplanting. If a tree is already stressed or diseased before it’s transplanted, it may take longer to recover or may not recover at all. In these cases, it’s important to consult with a professional arborist to determine whether transplanting is the best option, or if other measures should be taken to improve the tree’s health.  A tree may show signs of recovery within a few weeks to a few months after transplanting. New growth may appear, and the tree may begin to produce leaves or flowers. However, full recovery can take much longer, especially for larger trees. It may take several years for the tree to fully establish itself in its new location and resume normal growth and development.

While recovery time can range from several months to a few years, it is important to be patient and provide the necessary care and attention to ensure the tree has the best chance of thriving in its new location. By taking these steps, you can help ensure the health and vitality of your newly transplanted tree for years to come.

Nancy Penrose is the owner of Big Trees Inc., located in Snohomish, WA in the Seattle area. The company is one of the largest tree nurseries in the Seattle area with over 120,000 trees available in over 300 varieties. They not only deliver young trees, but also mature trees in a wide range of sizes. Some types of trees available include spring flowering, deciduous, evergreen, and privacy trees. The company also does tree transplanting including large trees. Their blog can be seen at or They can be reached at 360-563-2700.


Big Trees Inc.
10928 Springhetti Rd
Snohomish, WA 98296