January 15

When Is It Safe to Transplant A Tree?

Trees, Uncategorized


Whether you have purchased a tree or you want to resettle a tree from somewhere else in your lawn, transferring a tree is a hard task that calls for concern. If you don’t do just exactly the best thing, you might end up losing the tree and squandering your time, money, and hard work. In reality, transferring a tree is too dangerous unless you actually need to do if for security reasons or if the tree really means something to you.

The ideal period to move a tree depends on the tree, where the tree is transferring to, and the distinct tools that you have. However, there are a few different rules that you may want to think about:

4. When The Tree Becomes Dormant

Trees growing in a line.
Credit: Tom Page
  • Each tree has a different dormancy period
  • Make sure tree is completely inactive
  • Helps tree develop itself

The flat out best time to plant a tree or a shrub is when it has gone dormant. During the course of this time, the vitality of the tree is totally focused on root growth, which of course will really help it establish itself.

Talk to an expert to find out when your trees will be dormant. Though they tend to go dormant around the exact same time, remember that trees are transported from all over the world so that can really impact the dormancy period.

Another thing you may want to take into consideration when transplanting? The USDA hardiness zone where you’re located will impact the dormancy period as well, so talk to pros at your local nursery when ascertaining a planting date.

3. Evergreens — Don’t Wait For the Heat

Young evergreen tree.
Credit: Dalvenjah
  • Evergreens are sturdy and can stand nearly anything
  • Make sure to observe the tree
  • Do not over water

Transplanting evergreen trees isn’t all that hard, but there are a couple things you do want to take into account. According to The Spruce, “While they do not grow as vigorously in winter as in other seasons, they do not undergo the kind of dormancy that deciduous plants do. Thankfully, though, evergreens tend to be tough customers, and this toughness gives you more leeway with them. You can generally undertake the operation earlier in the fall and later in the spring with evergreens than you can with their deciduous counterparts.”

More significantly, you don’t want to do is transfer evergreens when it is too hot. This means you want to avoid all of the summer months. You also may want to stay away from months where we don’t get a lot of water becauseevergreens tend to suck up water quite promptly.

2. When In Doubt, Fall

Beautiful fall tree.
Credit: Jennifer C.
  • Tree will establish itself better
  • Soil isn’t too hard
  • Vitamins and mineral are plentiful

Most professionals suggest planting in the fall because of the temperate temperatures and that is when the soil is still soft enough that you can finesse the tree if need be. Fall is a pretty wet period as well, so the tree will get enough water. You can also do it in the spring, though that isn’t optimal.

According to the Clemson Cooperative Extension, “Fall planting allows the carbohydrates produced during the previous growing season to be directed to root growth since there is little demand from the top. This additional growth may lessen the dependency of the plant on supplemental irrigation the following summers.”

1. While The Tree Is Still Small

A dormant tree.
Credit: Oatsy40
  • Needs to be tough
  • May need to remove some roots
  • Can take a long time

Obviously, you want to move the tree before it gets too substantial. Planting trees for the first time allows you more time, you can plant trees that are bigger that way. However, it is tremendously dangerous to remove a tree from the soil and then move it to some other place once the tree has established on its own. You will need to slice away at the roots, which can certainly do a number on the tree– parts of it may die, it might not be able to get nutrients and might reject every thing that you do.

If your tree is pretty large and you feel like you have to move it, consulting with a professional is the best thing you can do. Trying to handle the task by yourself will just result in you harming yourself.

According to Gardening Know How, you will be sitting tight quite some time to move your tree after you make a choice to do it. You have to go through quite a few different steps to get where you want to be– steps that can take up to 6 months.

It is important to keep in mind that trees are different and each yard is unique as well. The growth of a tree transplant depends on many different things. First, your tree has to be fully healthy. Then, you have to use clean tools and the best practices to move the tree. If it gets hurt in transport, that could be the end of it. Finally, you have to take care of your tree for a long time thereafter. Aftercare is so important, and you need to be able to act as soon as you see any issues with the tree.

As you can see, there are a lot of different times and different situations that you have to look at before you can transplant your trees. Menchhofer Tree Care can help you to find when your trees need to be transplanted, transplant your trees for you, and even advise you on how to keep your trees healthy throughout the year after transplanting. Moving the trees in your yard isn’t the only thing that you need to do, but it is a huge part of keeping your tree stable safe and beautiful for years.

Our company has fully trained arborists and tree care professionals who can help you have a beautiful yard through pruning, trimming, transplanting and anything else you may need help with in terms of trees and shrubs.

Give us a call today at 1 (317) 661-4240 and we will set up a free consultation with you.

Header photo courtesy of iyoupapa on Flickr!

Menchhofer Tree Care

About Steve Menchhofer

Steve Menchhofer has been caring for the trees of the Indianapolis, Indiana metro area for over 40 years. Steve and his team of experienced, certified arborists are members of the International Society of Arboriculture and the Indiana Arborist Association.

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