How to Transplant a Tree (Tree Surgeon Guide)

Can you uproot a tree and move it? We explain all you need to know about tree transplanting. Get in touch to learn about N J Apps tree transplanting services in Kent.

If you’ve been thinking about moving a tree from one place to another, you need to know more about tree transplanting. In this post, we discuss how to move trees safely and the possible pitfalls.

Can you uproot a tree and move it?

Yes, you can uproot a tree and move it to another suitable location. This is known as tree transplanting.

To move a tree safely while maintaining the tree’s health, you will need specialist knowledge of tree root systems, tools, machinery and safety equipment. 

You will likely require professional tree transplanting services to relocate a tree. This guarantees your and others’ safety and a fantastic end result. There could be exceptions if it’s a particular small tree and you have done in-depth research. 

Reasons to move a tree

There are several reasons why you might need to move a tree to a new location. Tree transplantation may be required to:

  1. Improve the tree’s health and longevity
  2. Make way for building work or new fencing – possibly as part of a land clearance service
  3. Improve the desired aesthetics of the space
  4. Reduce the risk posed to buildings and building foundations

But you should be aware of any restrictions stopping you from relocating a tree. Our team can help you check this before taking action. 

What is tree transplanting?

Tree transplanting refers to the relocation of a tree. To relocate trees successfully, you need to dig around the tree’s route system and the surrounding soil; the root system and surrounding soil together may be termed the “rootball”.

Tree transplanting requires specialist knowledge and a careful approach. If you make mistakes during the initial digging process, you can cause something known as transplant shock later, which can lead to killing the tree. 

What is tree transplant shock?

Tree transplant shock is when a tree doesn’t take on enough water or nutrients after being relocated, which can lead to the tree’s death. This usually occurs due to root damage or a lack of knowledge during the relocation process. 

A tree’s root system includes thicker roots stabilising and anchoring the tree into the soil. The root system also has much finer root hairs, which are responsible for taking in water and nutrients. Even careful tree transplanting will cause some of these finer root hairs to be destroyed, but it’s important to try and maintain as many as possible. 

Regenerating root hairs takes weeks, and complete regeneration of all root hairs could take years. Therefore, it’s important to minimise transplant shock by maintaining as many root hairs as possible and ensuring adequate hydration and nutrition after the relocation.

There are other ways to ensure your tree survives its transplantation, but some techniques depend on the age and type of tree. Our tree surgeons have a broad knowledge of mitigating tree transplantation shock across different UK tree species. 

Can you dig up and replant a large tree?

Yes, even very large trees can be moved to a different location. To be able to move really large trees, specialist vehicles and equipment may be required. These are often known as tree spades. These are somewhat like cranes specifically designed to relocate trees and are added to the back of vehicles. 

What is the best time to transplant trees?

The best time to transplant trees depends on the type of tree you wish to replant, which is why it’s best to consult with a tree surgeon and use professional tree planting services. Even the weather on the day can influence whether it’s an excellent time to relocate trees. A tree surgeon may rely on weather forecasts to help plan the tree transplantation. 

How much does tree transplanting cost?

Tree transplantation costs can vary depending on the size of the tree and how far the tree needs to be relocated. However, it’s essential to know that relocating a tree can be around 90% more cost-effective than purchasing a new tree to plant.

Call NJ Apps for a tree planting or tree transplanting quote

NJ Apps frequently provides tree planting and tree transplanting services to commercial and domestic clients. Our work is provided by qualified tree surgeons with the latest and safest tools.

To provide you with a transparent and accurate quote, we will probably need to visit your site. Book your site visit now for a free quote with no obligations.