transplant large liv oak trees

weber(6)October 25, 2011

i live in n florida when is the best time to transplant large 10/12" diamater live oak trees ?

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

ten to 12 inch????

short of spending thousands to hire it done professionally...


or five sixth of an inch???

it might depend on what part of FL .. whats the nearest large city???

can you be a bit more forthcoming with more precise facts ... thx

welcome to GW ....


    Bookmark   October 25, 2011 at 8:54AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I'd like more information, too.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2011 at 3:01PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

the OP sent me this .. no clue why they didnt add it here:

n florida jacksonville we will hire a tree spade service what time of year do u transplant live oaks small or large


i dont do live oak.. but i doubt that is relevant ...

i still would not go that big ...


    Bookmark   October 27, 2011 at 2:15PM
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Rhizo, you moved from the area where we both used to live too soon to visit a very private plantation landscaping project that was/is unbelievable. I am not allowed to discuss the particulars nor was I allowed to take pictures. However, I did see a number of live oaks darn near as large as the Angel Oak in Charleston that had been dug in Florida and shipped by barge to the plantation on the Inland Water Way. As I toured this amazing project I kept wishing you were there with me for this once in a lifetime experience.

So, my answer to the OP's question is, hire a reputable firm with a tree spade and rely on it to move your tree at the right time of year. There are Florida arborists familiar with moving large live oaks. Make some calls. Do your homework.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2011 at 4:26PM
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I don't know about Live Oak or Florida transplant times.
Just wanted to say that make sure, as others have said that you do your homework especially on planting and aftercare. Tree spades can pile soil up around the trunk so make sure that the trees get planted at the right depth. Also trees this large can sink considerably after planting so keep this in mind. You are going to spend a lot of money so you have to know about planting right so you can get the planters to do a good job. Some will do everything right but many are clueless. I won't go into planting here as it is beaten to death on this forum other then to say. Right depth, don't amend soil, NO FERTILIZER, and then water correctly. It takes about 1 year per inch dbh for a tree to become established. Hope someone more local can help you with correct time.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2011 at 5:11PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

IpmMan, establishment time is climate dependent. Jax is probably in zone 9, I would think. (Don't know for sure.) I would estimate that trees in that general location (North Florida) to require anywhere from 3-6 months per inch of trunk diameter to establish. It would take a year or more in your climate.

So we're talking about a period of at least 5 years for these trees to work like crazy developing a new root system before it can GROW, fight off insect and disease problems, withstand drought or sudden weather changes, etc. Though the transplanting of trees of that size isn't particularly uncommon of late, it still seems like a waste of good money to me. A MUCH smaller tree planted at the same time will probably surpass the big ones in height and 'muscles' in about 5 years.

The window of transplanting time would be November through February. It needs to be done before the oaks begin to break into new growth in the early spring (before the time of leaf shed). Though I agree totally that weber needs to follow the instructions of a professional arborist and transplanting team.

Auxiliary canopy irrigation will hopefully be suggested as well as a careful schedule of watering at the root system.

Nandina....seems like I heard about a big tree move from Michael Murphy (Preservation Tree Care) a few years back. That would have been something to see!

    Bookmark   October 27, 2011 at 11:59PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

this is so outside the realm of my knowledge base.. that all i can offer is the link ...

read down for costs involved ...

good luck ... and if you do it.. keep us posted ....


Here is a link that might be useful: link

    Bookmark   October 28, 2011 at 11:18AM
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jqpublic(7b/8a Wake County NC)

Seems like a waste of money to me. Buy/Plant a smaller specimen and you'll have less problems in the long run and a faster more lush tree.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2011 at 10:55PM
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the question was, when would be the best time to transpant (____).

So why do most answers deal with an individual's assessment of what is right and wrong to do, which is more properly an assessment of of what they themselves would do, which may have nothing to do with why the idea is being proposed?

If large trees could not be successfully moved, no one would do it. If someone has a business doing exactly that, it would be no major cognitive leap to assume that it can be successfully done, and that there are benefits, real or imagined, in doing such a thing.

Long ago, I stopped trying to figure out why people do certain things or to make sense of their reasons. Usually, when you get to the bottom of the story, there is a very real, very specific reason why they want to do something in a certain way, and if they have the resources to do it, well, that is the world we live in and has been since the first troglodyte found a nicer cave.

I would have to assume that the cooler part of the year would be the better time to attempt a transplant project of any size, especially in a climate like FL. My calender tells me this is that time of the year. Contact the local nurseries or tree pros and verify.

As to the size of the trees, it's well within the realm of possibility. Actually, if your size assessment is accurate, it may be within the means of standard equipment.

I wish your project success.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2011 at 11:52AM
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We moved some(north Texas zone 8) in February 2009. The spade was 90inches. Most trees were about 8 to 10 inches. These all cultivated and planted as seedlings up to 5gallon size originally.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2011 at 7:24PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)


You're new here. I could tell before looking, but checked anyway just to confirm my suspicions. What we do here on Gardenweb is discuss things. Frequently, as in this case, more information is helpful or required, so we ask for the additional info. Also, people don't always know everything about what they ask, except just for the very narrow question they asked. Sometimes, people don't even really know what they need to ask. So, again, discussion often pays off big time.

Believe me, many of us know what can and can't be done so far as transplanting trees far better than the average nut. Some of the people you are talking with are professionals in the horticulture/arboriculture industry or have extensive collections of trees and other woody plants. Your advice to "contact the local nurseries..." over getting information here is a real hoot!

    Bookmark   October 31, 2011 at 9:05PM
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True Rhizo, I should have taken climate into what I said.
And yes smaller trees will almost certainly overtake larger moved trees, but perhaps the poster has a reason to move the large trees and not have to wait. Also no one has mentioned root pruning. Before moving an open grown tree it is a good practice to root prune and wait so the roots form a better root ball. Here in the frozen north we wait a few months I don't know how long to wait in sunny Florida.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2011 at 10:35AM
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*****A friend of mine lived in North Florida and said it gets pretty cold in winter for a short time. Unless the leaves still being on would be a problem, would that not be an okay time? The trees slow down then and have a while before summer heat comes. If you wait til leaf drop the heat of summer isn't so far ahead. I'm just a midatlantic state homeowner taking a guess. The toughie would be irrigation if there's a drought. Hopefully there won't be. If you do this and can post pictures that would be great.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2011 at 9:42PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

It seems like the original poster is not following their own post. They never responded to any of the questions or comments, so they either are no longer interested in the project or they lost track of their own thread. I think some of these people that post a question on their very first day, and then never come back, just loose track of what they did.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2011 at 10:50PM
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Yes that seems to happen a lot. It would be nice sometimes to see who's advice they followed and if we did help them. That is only half the fun of the forums though. Seeing what others think, and sometimes arguing things out is the other half. I always learn something from these threads, there are a lot of smart people here.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2011 at 3:31PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Didn't anyone else get emails from him, or am I the only fortunate recipient? He was grumpy, to say the least. I'll BET that because these responses are sent directly to him...that he assumes he's supposed to respond that way.

Weber, come back to the GardenWeb Tree Forum and let us know if you've transplanted the trees or when you'll do it. I hope you took (or will take) lots of pictures, because we'd like to see them. Especially Ken!

    Bookmark   November 8, 2011 at 4:10PM
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