Uprooting/Moving Small Trees

Old 09-15-06, 10:06 AM
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Uprooting/Moving Small Trees

Hi! I received a sampling (American Redbud) from the Arbor Society two years ago. I rushed and planted it along the front of my house. I has grown like a weed all summer (7-8'). It's in a terrible spot--not where I wanted it. Well, I had to move it last week, and I'm afraid it's going to die. I carefully pulled it from the ground and planted it in a deep hole with a combination of peat moss, Miracle Grow planting soil, and some of the surrounding soil from where it orignally laid. I gave it plenty of water, but all of its' leaves are shriveling. New grown is sagging. I clipped the branches, so it didn't look so bad. Can you tell me whether there's any chance it may survive? I would have preferred moving it in the late fall, but it was really in a bad spot.

Old 09-15-06, 03:41 PM
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From my experience, the best way to move a tree is to keep as much dirt with the roots as possible and when I say that, I try to keep as much as I can physically lift. The more dirt you keep with the roots, the better the tree will do. It is common for trees to look like crap after you move them. The stress of moving them causes this. I would just make sure that you planted the tree in not too deep of a hole and that you didn't damage many of the roots when moving it. It's also best to build a dirt mound around the base of the tree to capture water so that when you water it, the water doesn't just run away from the base.

I've transferred many palm trees to my yard only to see them die within months. I finally realized some problems I had:
-no dirt mound around the base
-planting them too deep (for palm trees, you're suppose to let the roots that are closest to the base be exposed so the tree can "breath" better)
-not enough water
-wrong spot in the yard ...too much direct sunshine for the age of the tree

Not sure if this will help you but it's worth a shot. If it does die, it might be due to too severely damaged roots but good luck!

Old 09-15-06, 03:46 PM
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Hi GS,

You say you "pulled it from the ground". I'm hoping you mean you dug it up with a good sized rootball. Using peat moss, or other amendments in the planting hole is not recommended. Peat moss doesn't contain many nutrients and once it dries it's difficult to rewet. Ever see water pool in a flower pot and just sit there if it dried out? Potting soil is mostly peat. Not sure what's in the Miracle Gro planting soil, but it could be more peat and synthetic fertilizers. Transplanted trees shouldn't be fertilized for 4 to 6 months, if at all.

You also said that you planted it in a deep hole. If you planted it too deep, and buried the rootflare, your tree will suffer. Here's how to properly plant, mulch and water a tree.



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