Can I salvage these trees?

labwench(MI/Zone 5)April 9, 2012

So we moved into our house a couple of months ago. We have a maple growing about 20 feet from the house and 40-50 feet from the septic tank. We also have the little paved loop with an oak growing in it.

Both of these tree placements seem to be problematic in the long term - the maple being too close to the foundation and septic, the oak for buckling the pavement near it.

My guess is these were planted as small plants in 2005/6 but they aren't more than 7 or 8 feet high at this point. How big/established is too big to remove these trees and transplant them somewhere more agreeable? Or are they a lost cause and I should plan to chop them in a few years as I get landscaping to what I want? I don't really know when they were planted b/c the house was a foreclosure so I can't ask the previous owners.



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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

please go to your members page.. and where NONE appears next to your name.. add zone or closest big city... since you seem to keep coming back.. i dont want to have to keep asking you where you are ...

it should be pretty easy to move a tree of the size you note.. WHEN ITS DORMANT ... no leaves ...

IN MY Z5 ... RIGHT NOW ...


here is a pic of a tree i moved .. in such manner ...


    Bookmark   April 9, 2012 at 1:20PM
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labwench(MI/Zone 5)

Great, thanks, Ken. I hope I'm not bugging you too much.

I'm not sure why the zone info wasn't coming up as it was in the profile but I think this got it. I'm also zone 5.

These will wait until fall since I'm not yet sure where I'll put them.


    Bookmark   April 9, 2012 at 6:11PM
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What kind of maple tree?

What kind of oak, and what's the diameter of that little paved loop? Are we talking a little walkway, or a drive way for cars?

Think long & hard about the work hassle of digging up the trees to keep them viable, vs. replacing them. The bare rooting Ken did looks more doable than digging up a 3' diameter root ball.


    Bookmark   April 9, 2012 at 9:34PM
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I'd want to be sure you have a problem before recommending remedies. Especially in the oak's case, it may well be that it's fine where it is. As to the maple, 20 feet could indeed be too close to house if it's a silver/sugar/Norway/freemanii cultivar. Pick one! Not suggesting some crazy interspecific hybrid of all of those!


    Bookmark   April 9, 2012 at 10:47PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

BTW.. i bare root mine.. or i should say.. when i dig them.. the sand falls off.. they bare root themselves.. lol ...

where are you in MI ... get ye to a tree farm .. find similar sized potted trees.. and conceptualize how big your root mass should be.. and if you can take the soil with you.. go for it ... [usually involves a strapping young man to hoik it out of the ground.. and drag it across the yard]

doing it in the PROPER PLANTING SEASON ... really increases the odds of success ...

if you on the west side of metro detroit.. i suggest a trip to gees tree farm just north of jackson.. out 94 ...

you can do a lot better than a maple.. IF YOUR GOAL IS TO SOMEDAY GARDEN UNDER A TREE IN SHADE ...

i really like oak ...

what is your base soil type ... if clay .. things are a bit trickier ...


    Bookmark   April 10, 2012 at 7:53AM
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labwench(MI/Zone 5)

The maple seems to be a silver maple based on the leaf shape (though the leaves emerging are far more red/orange than I'm used to on silver maples - might it be some sort of dwarf maple that won't need moving? It certainly isn't the typical Japanese maple).

I'm not sure about the oak as it doesn't have leaves yet but it is still pliable so I'm hoping it is alive. I could be fooled and it could still be something totally different - I'm not ruling that out.

The loop is part of a driveway, oblong center area-about 15 feet by 30 feet.

We have more of a clay based soil, I think. Soil testing generally is on my list of things to do. I should be able to drop a sample at MSU soon.

Thanks for the tree farm recommendation. I live just south of Mason, so just north of Jackson. Should be an easy trip.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 1:34PM
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labwench(MI/Zone 5)

OK, I was just digging in the backyard and the soil there is completely different from the front. The front is clay with tons of earthworms throughout. The back is sand. Looks like a beach.

I'll be soil testing multiple areas around the house.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 2:39PM
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Wench, a 15 by 30 foot space is surely adequate to accomodate a large-growing tree. While it is true that given unlimited time, almost anything could occur, I am seeing a pattern of undue caution by some here. If followed to its logical conclusion, we would be left with very few spaces in which to plant trees.

One quick look out my window-any window-tells me that that is largely nonsense.


    Bookmark   April 12, 2012 at 6:20PM
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