Start the process now!
So, you want that tree moved. The first thing you need to decide is can you physically do it. This job, isn’t an easy one. In our opinion, it will take 2 to 3 healthy and strong people to move a tree that is up to a 4 inches in caliper. To gauge caliper, measure the diameter of the tree trunk, 6 inches up from the soil line. Over 4 inches and you either need more friends or should hire someone (call us for references). If you decide that you’re going to try it yourself, this is what you need to do and October is a great time to start.
- Water the dickens out of the tree 3 days before you start digging. This will make it easier to dig.
- Measure 18 inches from the trunk (not the center)all the way around the tree and mark the line.
- Dig a trench, the width of the shovel, outside the line you have marked.
- Dig the trench 18 inches deep.
- Cut any roots in your way. Make sure these are nice, clean cuts…use loppers or pruning shears. Ragged cuts invite disease and insects.
At this point, you COULD move the tree…we advise you wait 6 to 8 weeks before you do.
We could hear your jaw drop from here! Yes, wait 6 to 8 weeks. What you have done by digging the trench is created a “pot” for the tree. The most important thing for a newly potted tree, is to grow lots of new roots. For the next 6 to 8 weeks, keep the tree watered and apply Carl Pool Root Activator (made in Texas) every other week, beginning the day you dig the trench. After 6 to 8 weeks, there will be lots of new roots in your “pot”. Now you can move the tree.
- Dig the hole in the new site.
- Only dig the hole 16 inches deep and 54 inches wide with sloping, rough sides.
- Take the soil from the new hole to where the tree is.
- Under cut the tree, breaking it loose from the soil under it. Avoid damaging the rootball or breaking too much soil loose from it.
- Tip the tree over, so that it is sitting in the hole at an angle.
- Begin filling the space, opposite the trunk, with the soil from the new site.
- When the space is full of soil, tip the tree in the opposite direction.
- Fill in this side, with soil from the new hole.
Repeating this process will raise the rootball out of the hole without the need to pick it up…let’s face it…you are dealing with at least a half ton of soil and tree…picking it up, isn’t an option. Once the bottom of the rootball is at the top, use a heavy-duty dolly to move it, Stand it up, in the new hole, then follow our Tree Planting Guide and First Year Tree Carehttps://rcwnurseries.com/data/stories_rcw/other/4_TREE_CARE_2010.pdf instructions and you’re home free. Pack soil in old site, eliminating air pockets, then you do what you want with that spot.