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Tree Transplant

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beagle
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 1333 Michigan
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2005-04-12          109741


We've grown a couple dozen white pines from saplings, and now want to transplant them around the property. They have done remarkably well, we haven't lost any of them yet. Now I'm scared to move them for fear of screwing it up.

Anyone have a god way of getting a good root ball for transplanting. The trees are about 3-4' tall now, and I haven't had good success moving trees in the past. I've heard that if the roots are exposed to air, you will kill the tree.

Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks

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Tree Transplant

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StephenR
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 230 New Tripoli, Pa.
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2005-04-12          109746


I just dug 2 Ponderosa Pines last Saturday. The rule of thumb is 9-12" wide and 6" deep root ball per 1" diameter of tree trunk. I thought the ground was wetter than it was. I lost alot of dirt around them and some of the roots were exposed. I trimmed the roots, burlaped and planted them immediately with a generous amount of water. I don't have much hope but these Ponderosa Pines have done well in our shaley soil in the past. If you have alot, maybe you should rent a tree spade. ....

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Tree Transplant

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ncrunch32
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 762 Kingston, NY
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2005-04-12          109747


I have lots of beautiful blue spruce I have grown from seedling. Last year I moved three large spruce (6-8 foot). I lost one of the three because I gouged the trunk with a tow strap. This year I moved about 16 large similiar sized spruce. I figure they are too close together anyway - might as well try to transplant rather than cut them down.

First I dig around the roots with backhoe, then wrap small piece of canvas around trunk, then loop towstrap around tree trunk and tie to bucket - pull out with bucket. Planted them ASAP and am watering them often. I'll give you the success rate next year. :) ....

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Tree Transplant

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denwood
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 542 Quarryville PA
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2005-04-12          109753


3-4 foot white pines that have not broken bud yet should be no problem. I have 400 sheared pines and 200 sheared spruce coming in around 3 feet and they are all bare root. They come in a box with wet newspaper. Do not let the roots dry out. If you dig and don't have success with a root ball, don't sweat. Just replant immediatly or store with something to keep the roots moist. It may be 2 weeks with my trees sitting before they are all potted up. I never loose more than 1-2 percent. ....

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Tree Transplant

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beagle
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 1333 Michigan
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2005-04-13          109777


Thanks for the suggestions. Anyone recommend a fertilizer be added during transplant. I've heard all kinds of suggestions from the people around here. We have mostly sandy soil, with some loam. ....

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hardwood
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 3583 iowa
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2005-04-13          109779


I haven't replanted many trees, so I'm not too experienced. My Dad allways put a five gallon bucket of oats in the bottom of hole before the root ball went in. His theory was that the oats would hold moisture far longer than soil and therefore help keep the roots moist. He seemed to make it work, but I don't think he planted many trees taller than 4-5 ft. Good luck. Frank. ....

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grinder
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 677 central Maine
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2005-04-14          109822


Beagle
I purchased seven large blue spruce last year, 9-11' balled and wrapped.
The old timer who sold them to me has been in the business for many years and suggested I mix 50% cow manure with loam
to plant them in. I bought the bagged manure,not fresh.
He also suggested I put a 36"x1" piece of pvc with holes drilled
in it along side of the root ball,leaving 6" sticking out of the ground. This is to aid in watering the bottom of the ball.Granted, these instructions are for large tree's. But I think the manure is a safe bet for all.I understand it to
be less likely to burn them. Water often!! I only lost one
of the seven.
good luck.

....

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7151 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2005-04-14          109826


Beagle, however told you exposure to air would kill a tree was just a little off. Exposure won't kill them, drying out will though, whether or not they are in the ground.

We routinely buy trees as "bare root" stock. They literally wash ALL the soil off the roots when the plant is dormant, they then spray the roots with a waxy spray like they do vegetables to prevent them drying out during shipping. It is basically the same stuff you can buy over the counter as anti-desiccant spray to prevent winter burn off.

Probably the two biggest factors to success are soil preparation and water.

Dig the hole as big as is needed, then add in any soil amendments needed and then break up the soil in every direction to an area twice as big as the hole is. This step is critical to the success of the tree, virgin undistrubed soil is very hard for roots to quickly penetrate.

When you water the tree, try to avoid the temptation to pour the water right at the base of the trunk. The 'feeder roots' of any tree are most active in the area known as the 'drip line', this is where rain water would land if it dripped off the branches. Watering AROUND a newly transplanted tree will encourage the roots to quickly spread out to seek the water. The soil you previously loosened and any amendments you put in it will help this process a LOT.

Past that, the only little tip I can give you is the one thing most people miss. Moving a tree is a real stress on them. You want to do everything you can to minimize this stress. So, before you dig the tree up clearly mark (string on a branch works good) the north side or anything you want, and be sure to place it in it's new home in EXACTLY the same solar orientation. In this area of the world the tree will have become accustomed to getting the most sunlight on it's south-west side, and that is where it's 'solar collection system' is the strongest. If you plant it 180 degrees off that point you be putting it at a great disadvantage.

Best of luck. ....

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beagle
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 1333 Michigan
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2005-04-14          109834


Thanks a bunch. I plan to move them this weekend. Since it's been pretty warm, I'm hoping it isn't too late to move the trees. Other than that, I will do as told.

Thanks again for the Myth-Busting. ....

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