How to Transplant a Beech Tree

A beech tree is a popular growing tree with both amateur and experienced gardeners. They are hardy and able to adapt to almost any soil, being able even to grow on a sandy soil with little nutrients. However, when planting beech trees it is important to take as much care of the tree as possible to ensure that it survives the trauma of transplantation.

Transplanting the Tree

Beech trees have a fibrous root system that can sometimes be damaged during transplanting. If you care moving a beech tree from another location it is important to remember to dig a wide root bed, attempting to avoid disturbing the roots as much as possible. The tap roots of beech trees can sometimes be taller than the beech tree itself—a 20-foot tree may have a 25—foot root, and it is important to keep as much of the root as possible. But it is equally possible for the beech to have virtually no tap root at all, just shallow fibrous roots spreading out over a wide area but only descending a couple of inches into the ground.

Once you have lifted the tree and root out of the ground, do not shake the roots free of soil. Place as much of the soil and root combination into a pot as possible, or wrap in a burlap sack until ready to transplant. If you are buying from a garden center, keep the tree in the burlap sacking until the very last moment.

A beech tree is best transplanted during the early spring months, when the weather is mild enough to avoid frosts, but not so hot that the plant will dry out. Try and find a spot which has well drained soil, as beech trees do not really like pools of water.

Dig a hole deep enough to take the entire tap root. Remove all the burlap sacking and ties from the beech tree, and place upright in the hole: spread out the roots around the bottom of the hole.

Half-fill with soil, and water thoroughly; leave the roots and soil to soak up this water, and then fill the soil almost to the top. Leave the tree to settle, and then add more water, and mulch.

Once the tree has been planted, mulch well around the trunk to keep the soil moist, and limit grass re-growth. Remember to keep the mulch away from direct contact with the trunk, as this can encourage fungus. Beech trees should not be pruned during the first two years of transplantation; instead, water regularly and remove any dead foliage by hand.

Other Information on Beech Trees

It is a good idea not to relay any of the turf which was removed to plant the beech—put it on the compost instead. Replanted turf will cause the tree to dry out.

Beech trees should be clipped carefully to ensure that they do not grow up tall and straight. Clipping the top of the tree regularly ensures that it will grow outwards as well.