There are lots of reasons you may want to transplant a mature tree. You might need more shade, more privacy, to cover something unsightly or you may just want to have the instant, dramatic impact and enjoyment that comes from having a mature tree in your yard without the years of waiting. Whatever the reason, it’s critical to understand the best practices for transplanting mature trees to ensure a smooth transition for the tree that will minimise stress and give it the best chance of surviving and thriving in its new home.
So how do you go about transplanting a mature tree? Here are our top tips.
1. Make Sure The Tree Is Healthy
The healthier the tree, the more likely it will be able to cope with the stress of being transplanted. Don’t attempt to transplant a tree that isn’t strong and thriving, it just won’t survive the exercise. If you’re not sure whether the tree is a good candidate for transplanting – ask your local Arborist for some advice before doing anything else.
2. Provide Similar Conditions
If your tree is happy and healthy where it currently is, it’s because it likes the environment and conditions that it’s in. By providing the same conditions in the new space, you’ll significantly improve its chances of survival. Try to match the amount of exposure to sunlight as well as other elements, the soil quality as well as the orientation of the tree and make sure there is enough space for the root system to grow.
3. Hole Preparation
Once you’ve decided on the new location, it’s time to prepare the hole. Be sure to dig the hole deep and wide enough to accommodate the entire root ball of the tree to sit in. Make the hole a little bigger than the rough measurement of the root ball to be safe. You may like to add some fertiliser or compost before placing the tree in the hole. Create slanting sides when digging the hole so that there will be loose soil around the roots of the tree.
4. Dig Out Your Tree
Using a spade, carefully expose the root ball by digging a circle around the tree. Place the spade under the root ball and gently loosen the soil from the roots. The size of the tree will obviously determine the difficulty of moving the tree. If you have a relatively small tree you may be able to lift the tree out of the ground using your spade. If not, try laying the tree down on one side while loosening the roots from the soil. It’s critical to keep as much of the root ball intact as possible to minimise the shock to the tree. Consider when you will carrying out your transplant as it’s usually best to expose the roots to as little direct sunlight as possible.
5. Place Your Tree
Position your tree in the hole, ensuring the tree is going to face the way you want it to. Once the tree is in place, backfill with soil so that the trunk is at the same height that it was in its previous location. Firmly pat down the soil to get rid of air bubbles. You may wish to add compost or manure for an extra boost.
6. Water And Mulch
Water your newly placed tree liberally. If your tree doesn’t get enough water quickly enough, it can go into what’s called ‘transplant shock’. Don’t overwater however as this can lead to the roots rotting.
Place mulch around the base of the tree, which is like giving the tree a health tonic – but don’t pile it up too close to the trunk as this will attract pests, disease and fungus.
7. Be Patient
Be patient with your newly transplanted tree. It can take years for a tree to fully recover from the stress and shock of being transplanted, so give it lots of love and care and you’ll hopefully be enjoying your tree for many years to come.
Call Aussie Tree Solutions Today
Successfully transplanting mature trees can be a labour-intensive, tricky process. Why take the risk by doing it yourself? Let the professionals take care of it for you and give your tree the best chance of survival. For optimum tree health, give your trees the very best care by speaking with the team at Aussie Tree Solutions today. We’ve been transplanting trees for over forty years and provide a full range of tree care and maintenance services from Consulting Arborist services to tree removals and of course, transplanting.