If you're like most homeowners, you love the thought of having a yard full of mature, thriving trees that provide beauty, shade, and, in some cases, fruits or nuts for the family's table. However, there are times when trees fail to thrive where they've been planted, and this is usually due to being planted in the wrong place for a particular type of tree.
Fortunately, trees generally start showing signs of being planted in the wrong place fairly early on, and this makes moving them much easier. Most type of trees can be safely transplanted when they're still only several years old, but mature trees that have developed massive, intricate root systems may be a different story and will definitely require the services of a tree care company if they are to be successfully moved. At times, however, many homeowners can generally handle moving a young tree by themselves. Here's what you need to know.
Move the Tree While It's Dormant
The worst possible time to move a tree is during the middle of summer while it's putting literally all of its energy into producing new growth and strengthening existing growth. Although trees look their healthiest and most robust during this time of year, they're actually quite fragile during summer. Transplanting trees during their dormant state ensures that living tissues aren't damaged. If you live in an area where the ground typically freezes during winter, you'll have to either transplant your trees during autumn after they go into dormancy or in early spring before they begin to produce leaves.
Be Sure to Get the Entire Root Ball
The biggest mistake most homeowners make when transplanting young trees is failing to get all of the roots. The tiny, hairlike roots at the very end of the root zone are more important to the tree's health than they look—they may be very small, but they're the part of the roots that are responsible for water and nutrient uptake. Always err on the side of caution when you're digging up the tree to ensure that you've got all of its roots.
Choose Your New Site Carefully
Always make sure that the new site is better for the tree than the site you're moving it from. For instance, if the reason you're moving the tree is that it's languishing from a lack of sunlight, be sure it gets enough sun in the new site.