dug up 2-3 yr birch

alyciaadamo(3/4)April 16, 2012

My husband dug up a 2-3 yr old birch and when he did, the dirt and most roots did not come with it.It's about 3'. It has a big tap root that broke(about6-10"long now) and some smaller white roots on it. It's not too big a deal though since it was in my flower garden and I wanted it moved anyway. I just feel kinda bad because it managed to escape getting pulled every year when I weeded. I planted it pretty quick in a decent size pot and watered the heck out of it. The buds were just barely showing so spring has only started here. It doesn't normally get too hot here but it's feeling like we're going to have a lot of hot weather this summer but then just last week or so we had snow.

I was just wondering if is a waste of time trying to save it or not? Does anyone think it will survive? Are there things I can do to help it other what I am already doing?

Also I have another 3 yr maybe even 4yr old birch in another part of that garden that I really want to save. When should I move it and how big should I dig the root ball? This tree is easily 6 ft tall (reaches the top of my 6'fence), well branched and is quite a bit bigger than the other one. My only problem with this is while it is not in a spot that is too much of a problem, it is awful close to some of my bee balm that have taken their time getting to a decent clump. I really don't want to disturb them.

Both these trees self seeded themselves after '08(I think anyway). That's when I put my flower garden in and I assume when the soil was at it's best. But I am not really sure though, I don't really know a lot about trees. I just find it odd that I only noticed these last spring when they were both about 2-3 ft tall(the big one really took off last summer) It's not really a giant garden it's about 11' x 25' and I live right in town so about 3' away is another house.

Now that I think about it though, I think I did notice the little one, about 1' then, the summer before(2010) and thought it was another plant that was supposed to be there oops.

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toronado3800 Zone 6 StLouis(6)

I have had volunteers survive and not survive the oddest transplant attempts. Somehow my neighbor and I extricated a six foot white mid summer as from a gravel area along the driveway and it lived. Two summers later I killed two foot bur oak growing in the Iris'.

As far as should you? I doubt it is worth the couple hours of your labor to move it rather than just buy a new one.

Would I move it? Probably if I just had a day with time to kill.

Let us know how it goes. I love to see what kind of roots people get so if ya can snap a cell phone pic and post it please do.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 9:06PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

transplant timing is the most important factor for success ..

and now is the perfect time in z5 and colder ... 6 to 8 weeks before the real heat of summer ...

in my sand.. all trees basically bare root themselves..

below is a pic of a much larger tree than your piddly little thing.. lol .. and it survived ...

there is no reason it should not survive ... with proper watering all summer.. which would be.. a good deep drink.. and then near drying.. before watering again.. insert finger at least once per week ... and mulch properly ..

trees actually prefer it on the dry side.. with very high drainage ... so dont water it like an annual/perennial.. etc ... let it near dry in between ...


note the date on the pic

    Bookmark   April 17, 2012 at 8:43AM
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Thank you very much. It seems to still be alive without even a misstep. It is starting to leaf out.
Thanks Ken I probably would have over watered it and killed the poor thing.
toronado3800 I did not take a picture of the roots before I potted it but really there weren't a lot there. Like I said just a single tap root with a few small hair roots.

Also knowing when to transplant the trees I will probably wait until next spring to move the other one hopefully it does not grow like it did last year or I will be looking at moving a 10' tree !!! Even though Maine is one of the most wooded states trees sure are expensive here so I will just move it. If not there are a ton of volunteers that I have been plucking out of my hosta garden maybe I'll save a couple of those.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 3:28PM
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