Caring for Your Trees

Tree Moving Basics

It can be frustrating to have a beautiful tree in your yard that isn't sited correctly. For example, trees growing too close to your home can damage foundation, siding, and roofs. If the tree is relatively young -- such as those planted in the last 3 to 5 years -- then moving it may be an option. The following can help you understand how this is done and the risks to the tree.

Small Trees

Small trees are saplings and those not much beyond sapling status. These trees generally have a trunk diameter that you can nearly wrap your hand around, which means the roots have yet to establish fully. These are some of the most easily moved trees and they are likely to survive the process.

Your tree service will first prepare the new planting size, and then they will dig out the bulk of the root ball. This is done by cutting through the roots that have begun to spread beyond the root ball so only the main bulk of roots remains. The tree may need to be supported by stakes and tree ties for a year after transplanting so that these anchoring roots can regrow and establish. 

Larger Trees

The larger and older the tree, the more difficult the process and the more danger that the tree may not survive. Heavy machinery is often needed to move these trees, as well. The initial process is much the same as moving smaller trees, though -- the new planting hole is first prepared before any removal begins.

The more periphery roots that can be saved, the more likely your mature tree will survive. First, the tree service will likely prune back the canopy so that the remaining roots won't have to support too large of a canopy. Then, they will bring in a tree spade to dig and transport the tree. A tree spade is a huge piece of machinery that scoops out the root ball and lifts the tree. The tree is then placed into the new hole. Support may also be necessary for a larger tree until the roots reestablish.

After Planting Care

Trees require similar care after moving as they would after initial planting. Regular watering and the application of tree fertilizer will help the roots grow and establish more quickly. Mulch helps this growth since mulch suppresses competitor weeds and conserves moisture.

Contact a tree care company if you would like to move a tree. They can walk you through what will be necessary to give the tree the best chances for survival.