Lena Davenport, ISA Certified Arborist, #PN-6217A

Don’t go dormant with your garden in the fall. Ideally it is the time to transplant your trees. Timing is one of the important considerations when you are planning a tree transplant. It is easier to transplant trees and shrubs when they are dormant. This is the period after the leaves turn in fall and before the spring growth begins. However, not to worry if you missed the ideal time because it is possible to transplant trees during the growing season with additional steps and treatments.

Everyone is aware the many benefits of trees, and there is recognizable value in retaining large trees in the landscape through transplanting. It’s the idea that if you already own a valuable asset, by all means keep it. The value on your home increases with a mature landscape, especially with specimen trees. Typically, the cost of replacing a tree rather than transplanting that particular tree, is anywhere from two to ten times the transplant cost.

The success of transplants depends on the tree species, the health of the tree prior to the transplant, the characteristics of the new planting site, the amount of post transplant care and of course the method of transplanting itself. The size of tree that can be relocated is limited only by ability and financial resources.

With twenty years of experience Big Trees, Inc. has developed careful transplanting techniques that lead to a 98% survivability rate of small to large specimen size trees. Transplanting trees is more skill and art rather than brute force. Experienced crews use specialized tools and careful techniques to ensure that each tree is dug properly. Root balls often appear shallow but this is because the majority of a tree’s root system responsible for supplying water and nutrients lies within the first few feet of soil.

Transplant aftercare is important when determining the success of a transplant. A transplanted tree has lost significant root mass and will require additional watering and fertilizer during the first and second growing season. Adding a two to four inch layer of organic mulch is also beneficial. Mulch reduces water loss, increases water absorption, lessens temperature fluctuations and adds nutrients to the soil. Just be sure to pull the mulch layer away at least six inches from the base of the trunk. When mulch is pilled against the trunk rot can occur.

If you have questions about transplanting please contact Big Trees, Inc. Our staff of knowledgeable horticulturalists can determine the likelihood of a successful transplant.