April 28

How-To Transplant a Tree Safely


trTransplanting a tree occurs for many reasons. You might be adding square footage to your home. If you do not move the tree, it would be in the center of your new guest bedroom. You might be landscaping. Transplanting the tree would create a more cohesive design. Whatever the reason, your tree needs to be moved.

Tree transplantation isn’t as simple as digging up the roots and placing the tree in a new hole. You need a trained arborist to do the job right. Roots serve many purposes, such as storing nutrients, transporting water, and anchoring the tree in place. If you attempt to prune the roots on your own, it’s highly likely that you will kill the tree. We do not recommend that you attempt moving a tree without an experienced arborist. However, if you insist on transplanting the tree yourself, it’s essential that you tend to the roots properly first. The following are steps to prep your roots before moving;

Measure the diameter of the tree by wrapping a measuring tape around the tree, four feet from the tree’s base. Divide that number by 3.14. Generally, you can safely prune roots that are 3-5 times the diameter away from your tree.

Avoid cutting tree roots if the roots are thicker than two inches wide or the tree is more than two inches in diameter. Contact a professional arborist for the job to be completed safely.

The best time to prune a tree to be transplanted depends on whether you are moving it in the spring or fall. 6 months is usually the optimum wait time between root pruning and transplanting. Do not move the tree immediately after pruning or you will likely damage the tree.

How-To Cut the Tree Roots

  1. Determine the size of the new root ball. It should be 10 to 12 inches for each inch of trunk diameter.
  2. Mark a circle around the tree that’s the width of the new root ball.
  3. At least 24 hours before cutting roots, water the soil.
  4. With a sharp spade, use the circle as a guide to cut into tree roots, going about a foot deep.

Now that you pruned the tree and determined the size of the root ball, you can remove the tree roots for transplanting. Take a shovel about five inches out of the circle you made for your new root ball. Then, dig around the root ball about 1-2 feet deep. Cut under the roots to life the new ball.

On average, trees take a year to grow after a transplantation. Some trees take up to five years to grow again. Only transplant a tree if it’s necessary. At Beaver Tree Service, we can help you transplant a tree safely in Medford, Portland, and Beaverton, Oregon. Contact the experts at Beaver Tree to ensure that the job gets done right.


tree service, tree transplanting, tree transplanting tips

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