Transplanting trees

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Dhoff
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Transplanting trees

Unread postby Dhoff » Thu Mar 18, 2021 2:54 pm

The last few years ive been going to plant some more trees around my place. I have a buddy with land next to an orchard so he has a lot of different sized apple trees to chose from that grew on his land also. Any advise when to dig them up and transplant them? Also looking to do the same with some small oak trees.


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Re: Transplanting trees

Unread postby Ryan549 » Fri Mar 19, 2021 12:16 am

Be careful with oaks, some cultivars are a fall hazard- which more than likely will die if you move them in the fall.

How are you moving the trees? Are you using a spade or taking them bare root?

Small whips of apples transplant well in the spring either bare root or balled and burlapped. More mature trees also provide successful transplant, and it it a good idea to prune 15%-20% of the tree before you plant it- remember, you just cut into a root system and now there are less roots to support the top of the tree.

Apples handle transplant very well. Oaks are a little finicky, but they do handle transplant with minimal issues. You may encounter some shock as the tree has been moved from where it was happy, to a new location. New sun exposure, sun angle, wind exposure, new soil.... this will all shock the tree, so do not expect a lot in the first year. Once they acclimate, they usually thrive.

Planting trees is huge. I have extensive experience and have planted very large amounts, with great success.
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Re: Transplanting trees

Unread postby Djp32 » Fri Mar 19, 2021 12:21 am

Ryan549 wrote:Be careful with oaks, some cultivars are a fall hazard- which more than likely will die if you move them in the fall.

How are you moving the trees? Are you using a spade or taking them bare root?

Small whips of apples transplant well in the spring either bare root or balled and burlapped. More mature trees also provide successful transplant, and it it a good idea to prune 15%-20% of the tree before you plant it- remember, you just cut into a root system and now there are less roots to support the top of the tree.

Apples handle transplant very well. Oaks are a little finicky, but they do handle transplant with minimal issues. You may encounter some shock as the tree has been moved from where it was happy, to a new location. New sun exposure, sun angle, wind exposure, new soil.... this will all shock the tree, so do not expect a lot in the first year. Once they acclimate, they usually thrive.

Planting trees is huge. I have extensive experience and have planted very large amounts, with great success.


Any advice on chestnut trees? My buddy gave me 2 little sprouts in buckets last fall and they have stayed in the buckets outside all winter. Do I still have hope to get them to grow when out in the ground permanently?
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Re: Transplanting trees

Unread postby may21581 » Fri Mar 19, 2021 12:38 am

When I plant trees or shrubs i always add those fertilizer sticks to the root ball area. I always had good luck with doing this. Also the hole needs to be at least twice as big as the root ball, if your soil is sketchy then add good dirt. If your soil is good then just break it up soft so the roots can grow freely. The same is true for the rootball, when you plant them break up the hard clump without damaging the roots.
The next big one is your depth. Not sure how deep those trees need to be, you will have to read up on them. Too shallow and your roots will have issues. Too deep and the tree will rot. I also see lt of guys wrapping them with chicken wire to keep critters from damaging them till they get older.
"Failure is the price for entry for achieving something great"
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Re: Transplanting trees

Unread postby Ryan549 » Fri Mar 19, 2021 12:46 am

I’m not big on fertilizer during transplant, the roots have been cut and that is all that is needed to promote growth. Fertilizer can sometimes be more harmful than helpful.
I’d rather use a good mix of compost and peat, maybe some perlite in the backfill of the tree. You do not want to force growth on a transplanted tree, it needs to acclimate slowly
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Re: Transplanting trees

Unread postby Ryan549 » Fri Mar 19, 2021 12:49 am

Djp32 wrote:
Ryan549 wrote:Be careful with oaks, some cultivars are a fall hazard- which more than likely will die if you move them in the fall.

How are you moving the trees? Are you using a spade or taking them bare root?

Small whips of apples transplant well in the spring either bare root or balled and burlapped. More mature trees also provide successful transplant, and it it a good idea to prune 15%-20% of the tree before you plant it- remember, you just cut into a root system and now there are less roots to support the top of the tree.

Apples handle transplant very well. Oaks are a little finicky, but they do handle transplant with minimal issues. You may encounter some shock as the tree has been moved from where it was happy, to a new location. New sun exposure, sun angle, wind exposure, new soil.... this will all shock the tree, so do not expect a lot in the first year. Once they acclimate, they usually thrive.

Planting trees is huge. I have extensive experience and have planted very large amounts, with great success.


Any advice on chestnut trees? My buddy gave me 2 little sprouts in buckets last fall and they have stayed in the buckets outside all winter. Do I still have hope to get them to grow when out in the ground permanently?


Scratch the bark off the whip with your thumbnail, if it is green, plant it. If you have any dead on the tip, prune back until you have green, live cambium.

Chestnuts are mainly self pruning, when branches are dying off, they will separate from the tree.
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Re: Transplanting trees

Unread postby Ryan549 » Fri Mar 19, 2021 12:51 am

Planting a tree a little high is always better than too deep. I always try and plant the crown 1-2” higher than the grade of the soil.

If you have a grafted tree, you need to make sure that the graft union is above the ground, but still only an inch or two.
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Re: Transplanting trees

Unread postby Djp32 » Fri Mar 19, 2021 7:55 am

Ryan549 wrote:
Djp32 wrote:
Ryan549 wrote:Be careful with oaks, some cultivars are a fall hazard- which more than likely will die if you move them in the fall.

How are you moving the trees? Are you using a spade or taking them bare root?

Small whips of apples transplant well in the spring either bare root or balled and burlapped. More mature trees also provide successful transplant, and it it a good idea to prune 15%-20% of the tree before you plant it- remember, you just cut into a root system and now there are less roots to support the top of the tree.

Apples handle transplant very well. Oaks are a little finicky, but they do handle transplant with minimal issues. You may encounter some shock as the tree has been moved from where it was happy, to a new location. New sun exposure, sun angle, wind exposure, new soil.... this will all shock the tree, so do not expect a lot in the first year. Once they acclimate, they usually thrive.

Planting trees is huge. I have extensive experience and have planted very large amounts, with great success.


Any advice on chestnut trees? My buddy gave me 2 little sprouts in buckets last fall and they have stayed in the buckets outside all winter. Do I still have hope to get them to grow when out in the ground permanently?


Scratch the bark off the whip with your thumbnail, if it is green, plant it. If you have any dead on the tip, prune back until you have green, live cambium.

Chestnuts are mainly self pruning, when branches are dying off, they will separate from the tree.

Will do, thanks for the tip!!
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Re: Transplanting trees

Unread postby Hawthorne » Fri Mar 19, 2021 9:41 am

Transplanting them while they are still dormant is the way to go. Has soon has the frost is out of the ground.Before they bud out. I’ve transplanted autumn olives until it was banned. They make excellent deer habitat
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Re: Transplanting trees

Unread postby Ryan549 » Fri Mar 19, 2021 9:54 am

Hawthorne wrote:Transplanting them while they are still dormant is the way to go. Has soon has the frost is out of the ground.Before they bud out. I’ve transplanted autumn olives until it was banned. They make excellent deer habitat



In a perfect world, I agree.
I used to sell nursery trees, and we sold just as many in August as in April. The time to plant is NOW, it just depends on the care you give the tree(s) afterwards.
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Re: Transplanting trees

Unread postby Dhoff » Fri Mar 19, 2021 12:51 pm

Ryan549 wrote:Be careful with oaks, some cultivars are a fall hazard- which more than likely will die if you move them in the fall.

How are you moving the trees? Are you using a spade or taking them bare root?

Small whips of apples transplant well in the spring either bare root or balled and burlapped. More mature trees also provide successful transplant, and it it a good idea to prune 15%-20% of the tree before you plant it- remember, you just cut into a root system and now there are less roots to support the top of the tree.

Apples handle transplant very well. Oaks are a little finicky, but they do handle transplant with minimal issues. You may encounter some shock as the tree has been moved from where it was happy, to a new location. New sun exposure, sun angle, wind exposure, new soil.... this will all shock the tree, so do not expect a lot in the first year. Once they acclimate, they usually thrive.

Planting trees is huge. I have extensive experience and have planted very large amounts, with great success.

Thanks for the input. I basically would be able to pick from apple trees ranging from twigs on up in size. I figure the ones usually for sale are around that 1 to 2 inch trunk size so around there or a tad bigger. I figured I would dig about 18 inches around it to get a lot of the roots and keep then intact. Would you dig a hole to match the size i remove and put it right in place or break up the roots and reset it?
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Re: Transplanting trees

Unread postby Ryan549 » Fri Mar 19, 2021 10:45 pm

Dhoff wrote:
Ryan549 wrote:Be careful with oaks, some cultivars are a fall hazard- which more than likely will die if you move them in the fall.

How are you moving the trees? Are you using a spade or taking them bare root?

Small whips of apples transplant well in the spring either bare root or balled and burlapped. More mature trees also provide successful transplant, and it it a good idea to prune 15%-20% of the tree before you plant it- remember, you just cut into a root system and now there are less roots to support the top of the tree.

Apples handle transplant very well. Oaks are a little finicky, but they do handle transplant with minimal issues. You may encounter some shock as the tree has been moved from where it was happy, to a new location. New sun exposure, sun angle, wind exposure, new soil.... this will all shock the tree, so do not expect a lot in the first year. Once they acclimate, they usually thrive.

Planting trees is huge. I have extensive experience and have planted very large amounts, with great success.

Thanks for the input. I basically would be able to pick from apple trees ranging from twigs on up in size. I figure the ones usually for sale are around that 1 to 2 inch trunk size so around there or a tad bigger. I figured I would dig about 18 inches around it to get a lot of the roots and keep then intact. Would you dig a hole to match the size i remove and put it right in place or break up the roots and reset it?



I like to dig a hole 2-2.5 times the size of the rootball. With bare root, you want to have enough room for the roots to be spread out evenly coming off the tree or rootstock. This will ensure that the roots are not tangled and will provide for a well anchored tree.
Backfill and compact the soil in 3” lifts- you need to remove any air from around the roots- air does not hold moisture.
A lot of trees die because people are lazy and don’t dig a big enough hole and “shoehorn” the rootball into the hole, and then they cannot compact all around the tree and they have 1/2 of the rootball without soil contact.

A little extra work with a shovel will save you time- and money- in the future.
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Re: Transplanting trees

Unread postby tim » Thu Apr 01, 2021 7:35 pm

If I get apple trees late summer or into fall I water till they go dormant then plant in spring before out of dormancy cause I can’t be around enough to water.
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Re: Transplanting trees

Unread postby Ryan549 » Thu Apr 01, 2021 10:40 pm

tim wrote:If I get apple trees late summer or into fall I water till they go dormant then plant in spring before out of dormancy cause I can’t be around enough to water.


Fall planting is extremely good.
I’d rather have them go through dormancy in the ground, they will establish roots and then really take off in the spring.
Depending on the rootstock they are on, you are waiting 2-5 yrs (maybe even more) for fruit anyway, better to plant it and gain a few months of root set than to wait- in my opinion.
I graft and plant a lot of trees every year

Either way you look at it, planting trees is a great thing
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Re: Transplanting trees

Unread postby tim » Sat Apr 03, 2021 6:12 pm

Ryan549 wrote:
tim wrote:If I get apple trees late summer or into fall I water till they go dormant then plant in spring before out of dormancy cause I can’t be around enough to water.


Fall planting is extremely good.
I’d rather have them go through dormancy in the ground, they will establish roots and then really take off in the spring.
Depending on the rootstock they are on, you are waiting 2-5 yrs (maybe even more) for fruit anyway, better to plant it and gain a few months of root set than to wait- in my opinion.
I graft and plant a lot of trees every year

Either way you look at it, planting trees is a great thing

I’m no expert and you are probably 100% correct.....except I’m hunting in the fall and don’t want to take the time to do it in the fall anymore. I did one time when I first started and it cost me huge on a buck I had patterned and didn’t think it would affect him too bad where I was planting, boy was I wrong . So now I just do it all in the spring when I’m not so worried and not sitting in a tree as much as possible


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