Transplanting A Tree

The main thing to keep in mind is root care.

The beautiful canopy we all want depends on a healthy functional root system.

So when digging up a tree to be transplanted, take as much of the root system as is practically possible. A tree with a large crown but little root system will be severely stressed after a transplant. And some species (like hickory and oak) have especially large root systems.  To minimize transplant stress and the need for supplemental watering, it’s better to choose a smaller tree so you can take relatively more of the root system.


1. Dig out an area large enough to fit your tree’s root ball (roots + soil).

2. Keep the root ball (roots + soil) intact so the roots don’t separate from the soil.

3. Wrap the root ball in a plastic bag for moving and storage to avoid it drying out.

4. Work on calm, cloudy, cool and humid days to avoid tree dehydration.

5. Keep the bark above and the roots below ground to avoid bark rot and root dehydration.

6. Water your newly transplanted tree.

It’s a common mistake to over-fertilize.  In our bio-region, low nutrient levels is simply not a major threat to your transplanted tree.  If you are going to fertilize, avoid fertilizers that target leaf growth (usually at the expense of root rehabilitation). Whether you’re planting or transplanting, tree care is largely the same.

Remember Your Roots!

Take action

Council Watch
Sign Up To Volunteer
Sign Our Petitions
Make a Donation

Connect with us