Pulling up & replanting pines


Old 08-20-02, 09:06 AM
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Question Pulling up & replanting pines

I need to add a windbreak on the north side of the house. I have decided to pull up blue spruce pines that are too tightly bunched, planted by the previous owner.
When is the best time of the year to do this? What difficulties should I watch out for?
(Also, my only tools are a shovel and a big Briggs/Stratton tiller!)
I know to stake them, once they're replanted.... and other advice?

Oh, some of the pines are thin and scraggly at the top half. Anything I can do there? Would trimming the top half encourage thickness or would that harm the pines.
Sponsored Links
Old 08-20-02, 01:20 PM
marturo's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 1,448
Smile Thinning & replanting

Hi flydragon5,

How large are the trees you are going to transplant?
Old 08-20-02, 01:29 PM
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a

Hello Marturo,

The pines I picked are from 4-6 ft. I have bigger ones, but I'm no match for them and have about 120 ft to cover.
I figure to replant each about 7-10 ft apart.
I've been researching diff. sites on the Net. Most say to NOT do this now, to wait till Fall, but I'll never get done on time, working and all...I figure on 2-3 a day, tops, from start to finish.
One site did say it was ok to do this now....
Is there a way to do this now and still prevent shock?

and Thanks!
Old 08-20-02, 06:23 PM
marturo's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 1,448
Smile Transplanting nondormant trees.

Hi flydragon5

Well let's delve into just why a plant or tree goes into shock and dies due to transplanting when not dormant.

Most will advise to wait until dormancy, because the tree 1. needs very little wayer. 2. Is not flowing near as much sap ( Repairs & pest control, etc.)

If I had to move a plant in the growing season, I would of course prepare new holes with 50% humus like peat or mushroom compost.

Get some B1 tablets at the drug store, a quart of liquid seaweed & some Dip N Gro rooting hormone (Small bottle).

Get some Vapor Guard a natural spray made of Pinol that Christmas tree growers spray their cut trees with, to hold in the water & last longer in your livingroom.

You will spray the trees, just as you start to dig & then again after they are in there new homes .

Soak the B1 tablets until you can use the liquid to mix with the Seaweed liquid. This mix lets say of 90 B1 tablets at least a quart of seaweed & be careful useing the Dip N Grow, I would say a 1/16 of a teaspoon per gallon don't mix this with the B1 or seaweed yet.

You can mix the Sea weed & B1 into a container & use 1 teaspoon per gallon. Wait to add the Dip N Grow until your ready to use the watering can in the new holes one at a time.

When you have the transplant 1/2 way covered back up, use 2 gallons in and around the roots, of the mixture in your watering can.

I believe you said you were going to plant them in a straight line. A black soaker our two will place water right at the base of the trees to help them reroot quickly.

Now you will need a lot of luck & water to make this work. However you will have met the requirements to protect your transplants from the number 1 killer of transplants. Dehydration.

This mix of B1 & seaweed is a transplant anti-shock aide I have used for many years with great sucess. Adding the rooting hormone is a trick that we have had some good sucess with when moving plants, at a less than optimum time.

As for toping a blue spruce, I don't know just what will be the outcome. As you know this is the Christmas tree with the tip removed it follows a different set of blue prints.

Perhaps one of the others has tried toping the Spruce and can help us out on that question.

Best of luck to you flydragon5 on your task, I hope that I was able to help you with some of your choices.

Old 08-20-02, 09:28 PM
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Hi Flydragon,

If you prune the top of the tree, you are cutting the leader. I.E., you will be stunting its growth. Once you cut the leader, the top growth will stop, and it will start branching out. If that's what you want, then maybe that's not a bad thing, but keep in mind, it won't grow any taller. (At least that's what I've been told.)

Pines require a lot of water. Are they getting it?

There is a process called candleing. Some people want to contain the size of a pine. When you see new growth, you will notice that the needles are tight against the branch. If you will cut that area back, the growth for the year will be where you cut it back. Maybe somebody can advise you more, but I'm thinking if you candle the bottom growth, the top will catch up???????????? This is a guess, and I hope you'll wait for other comments before doing this, which of course would be, in the spring. You might search with Google for "candleing a pine tree".

Marturo, great advice! It amazes me the knowledge you have, and I save a LOT of what you advise.


Last edited by Gami; 08-21-02 at 12:29 AM.
Old 08-20-02, 11:24 PM
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
I seem to remember either reading or hearing that when candleing you should pinch with your fingers instead of cutting so that not all of the new growth is gone, but I can't remember the source. Does anyone know about this?

I think Gami is right about cutting the leader. It either won't grow vertically anymore or it will branch off at the top and keep growing upwards at an angle, but then I could be wrong
Old 08-21-02, 12:23 AM
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Hi again Flydragon,

Here's a link from the conifer society -


Oops, I spelled candling wrong.

Interesting subject, as we do hapen to have a pine tree. It was a clearance tree. Rather straggly, rather ugly. I didn't expect it to live, but it has grown into a huge, beautiful tree. Soooooo, as an added note, maybe you just need to give them some time.

Old 08-21-02, 05:44 PM
marturo's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 1,448
Good info for a tough job.

Hello Flydragon5

Are we looking at a project that you still feel good about? I knew when you gave us your tool list, you would rather have a small Backhoe for this job

One thing I wanted to mention before we got too far, was wetting the soil and investing in a good Madock ( Poor mans Backhoe ).

The black soaker hoses will wet very deep, & the Madock having a point on one end & a wide cutting head on the other end, may make life easier for you. Although wet soil may not be what you want, although it does tend to loosen soil to roots.

I am not there, so use as many of the good suggestions as will fit your special needs. I'm sure from what you have said already that you can do this.

What & how are you planing to use the rototiller? Just curious as I am always open to new ideas also.

Great Link Gami


Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes