Transplanting oak saplings?

editornj(7 Coastal NJ)September 15, 2008

I know next to nothing about gardening, so please bear with me. I'm moving from a family home that has about 20 saplings growing in a bed of pachysandra. Most of them look like they're in their second year. But maybe three or four of them have been there a while--their bases are maybe 3/4 to 1+ inch wide.

How can I go about transplanting a few to my new home 45 minutes away? How many should I attempt if I hope two or three will take? Thanks!

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

where are you .. zone wise ....

what the time frame .... how late can you do the digging ... in other words.. when is the scheduled last day on the property?

dig as soon as they lose their leaves.. and transplant ASAP ...

more info .. when you provide more info ...

with proper timing.. proper planting.. and proper aftercare... you should have 100% success ... and none of that is rocket science ....

and what is the soil at the new location ???? .. makes a difference how we plant them ....

i am guessing NJ ... z7 .. but would prefer to be exact ....

and finally .. is there a veggie garden at the new house????? some place we can 'stick' them... until next spring ....


PS: its nut season .. the easiest .. and perhaps the failsafe .. is to collect some acorns ... no digging.. lol ...

    Bookmark   September 15, 2008 at 9:55AM
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My experience with transplanting oak has been a failure every time. Take more than you think you want, just in case, and DONT fertilize. Good Luck!

    Bookmark   September 15, 2008 at 10:37AM
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editornj(7 Coastal NJ)

Hah! I like the acorn idea. :) Of course I'm eager, though, and would prefer to transplant the larger oaks (the tallest is about 8 feet). I'm wondering how much I need to dig.

Yes, New Jersey, by Sandy Hook, so soil is somewhat sandy. It's new construction, so no current garden. What about pots?

This is a family home, so I don't know when it will be sold. It could be before the spring, though, so I'd like to transplant now. I have access to the new property now.

I also noticed a few small trees (maybe everything looks like oak to me?) on the new property in really bad spots, and very close to one another. Should I just work with what I've got, instead of moving the ones from the old home?

Thanks so much!

    Bookmark   September 15, 2008 at 8:37PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

below is a pic of a 6 foot cherry .... after digging maybe 8 foot .... i dont go much bigger than 6 ... risk increases exponentially ...

first sharpen shovel ... and get pruning shears ....

start with one tree ... see what you are getting yourself into ...

go to new house.. dig hole .... for one inch caliper ... maybe 3 feet across .... and 2 feet deep ....

go to old house.. start digging about 3 feet from the trunk ... twice around... straight down ... overlap so you truncate the entire circle .... second time around .... pull back the shovel.. loosening soil ... then grab the tree.. and see where it is still holding .... and get to work ....

move another foot further out .... start digging out the soil .... trying to maintain as many roots as possible.. continue until you get it out of the ground ....

wrap the roots in a damp towel ... or something to protect them from drying out ...

drive to the new house ... compare roots to hole ... adjust accordingly .... snip the root ends... nice clean cuts .... insert tree into hole.. and adjust for proper height.. root flare at ground level .... start refilling... when half back filled... water well and tamp down ... fill to near full ... water again ... mulch well ...

in my sand.. i tend to leave a moat of sorts ... a ring out 2 to 3 feet from the tree ... so i can lay down a lot of water.. and allow it to soak in ...

you are responsible for all water next season.. and into the following ....

if you dig out a 8 footer.. with a three foot root mass.. DO YOU HAVE A VEHICLE TO MOVE AN 11 FOOT TREE ... bigger is NOT necessarily better ...

dig new holes whenever .... have water available ... plan on digging as soon as the leaves turn color or fall off ...

no amendments.. no fertilizer.. just insure PROPER watering for 2 to 3 years ....

good luck


    Bookmark   September 16, 2008 at 9:16AM
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editornj(7 Coastal NJ)

Wow! Thanks so much for the response! So the larger oaks are already at the new house. I'm wondering if you think transplanting from one end of the property to another would be wiser?

Here's a link to some photos of what is here at the old house.

Also, do you think it would be a good idea to plant these seeds (see link)? Should I wait until they fall from the tree? I like this tree. What is it, some kind of dwarf maple?

Thanks, again! I really, really appreciate the advice.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2008 at 2:40PM
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