Tree Transplanting Frequently Asked Questions

How much does tree relocation cost?

Many factors go into determining the cost associated with tree transplanting. Factors include the size of the tree to transplant, the distance to move the tree, site access, digging conditions, pre-dig site work necessary, post-dig site work required, the total number of trees to move, travel time to and from the job site, to name a few. We are happy to provide a quote based on your project details. Providing pictures of your tree is helpful.

What time of year can a tree be transplanted?

The optimal time of year to transplant trees and shrubs is either in the spring or fall seasons, due to lower stress on plants during those times of the year. However, trees can successfully be transplanted throughout the year, as long as stress factors are properly mitigated, e.g., upsizing the root ball, pre-watering, applying anti-desiccant.

How much notice is needed to transplant a tree?

Please involve Jordan’s Tree Moving & Maintenance, Inc. in the planning or design stages of your project. We can advise and make recommendations based on your project plans. Early involvement in the plan/design stage may also avoid scheduling delays during busy times of the year. The absolute minimum notice, however, is 3 business days to ensure pre-dig utility notifications have been made, and all underground utility locations have been marked on the site(s).

What are the factors that determine whether a tree can be transplanted?

We use trunk diameter to help establish the corresponding tree spade size that is most appropriate for the tree. The canopy spread will also be a determining factor in assessing the transplantability of a tree. An evergreen tree whose canopy is very flexible works well; tree limbs will envelop the tree within the spade implement. On the other hand, a low branching species, like an Apple tree, whose limbs are fairly rigid, may prevent the tree from fitting in the spade without substantial removal of limbs.

Why is it recommended to stake a tree after transplanting?

The installation of t-post and guy wire supports are generally recommended for newly planted or transplanted trees to help stabilize the tree until a sufficient anchoring root system is developed. The size of the tree, size of the corresponding root ball, exposure to wind load, and soil conditions are all factors in determining whether a tree needs an anchor support system, the placement of such a system, and the total number of supports needed.

How long should I leave the staking system attached to the tree?

It is recommended to only leave a tree guyed for one to five years after installation/transplantation, depending on the size of the tree. Trees left guyed too long will start to develop a dependence on the structural support offered by the guy wires, and will not produce an anchoring root system. Concern also exists that left untended too long the cables around the trunk of the tree will begin to girdle or grow into the tree trunk.

How often should I water a recently transplanted tree?

Site soil conditions will dictate the amount and frequency of watering. The goal is to keep the roots in the soil moist but not too wet to let the roots also absorb oxygen. A slow, gentle soaking is preferable. A good rule of thumb is to water the top of the root ball with a garden hose set at about half volume for approximately 60 minutes (or until runoff begins) after the initial installation. The water retention capacity of the soil should dictate future watering frequency. An indicator that the tree needs to be watered again is when the soil approximately 2 inches below grade is too dry to clump together in your hand. It is important to note that excess water accumulation in the planting hole is a leading cause of transplant death. Watering must be appropriate for soil type and drainage. See our Aftercare Instructions for more information.

What guarantee do I have that a transplanted tree will survive?

While the health of the tree before transplanting will have a dramatic impact on the success of transplantation, aftercare, and water management are critical in ensuring a successful transplant. Jordan’s Tree Moving & Maintenance has had excellent success over more than 30 years of tree transplanting, but cannot guarantee results due to the requirement for customer aftercare.

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