When is it too late to start thinking about transplanting a pine?

wilsocnOctober 22, 2011

I am in KY and zone 6. It has dipped down to the lower thirties a couple of times this year but only briefly. Last year our first day below 32 was October the 30th with nights routinely dipping below 32 starting around the middle part of November.

Would I still be ok to transplant a pine tree at this point? I am not sure about the specific type but the matures trees are very tall and probably growing just as tall as many of the hardwoods in the area.

If it is still ok to dig and transplant, can someone advice me on the best size to dig and how much soil I need to plan on taking in order to maintain enough of its root system?


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toronado3800 Zone 6 StLouis(6)

A plant that is fully cold hardy for your area should be planted when the trees loose their leaves, now.

Tender crape myrtles, southern magnolias and japanese maples I worry about bit have no basis for my fears.

How big is your tree?

    Bookmark   October 22, 2011 at 10:13PM
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Well there are literally hundreds that I could pick from. They range from little saplings no more than a few inches tall to several feet tall. I was going to try and find a nice one about 3 ft tall probably.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2011 at 4:05AM
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Personally, I have never had luck transplanting any local loblolly pines, but white pines have been no problem. I would do several to increase your chance of success, and consider doing only those under 3 feet tall.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2011 at 8:00AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

now is the time ...

i would go for about a two footer .. just less stress all around ... probably wont even know it was moved ...

though as noted.. knowing what kind of pine might make a difference ..

i would bare root it ... and shoot for about a two foot spread of roots ...

free range pines.. probably have a very shallow root system .... in my sand ... if damp ... you can nearly pull them out ... though a little spading will help ... trim all broken root ends ...

you should be able to tell in very early spring.. whether the buds are elongating.. if not... move another .... since you seem to have an unlimited supply ...

now is a good time.. since it will have two cool root growing seasons.. before the heat of next summer ... rather than waiting until spring.. and hoping it will get 6 to 8 weeks before the real heat hits ...

this should work for z6 and colder .... though it might be getting a bit late further north ..


    Bookmark   October 23, 2011 at 9:10AM
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I am not certain but I would guess that these are loblolly pines. There is a high clay content in the area that these trees are all growing but they are doing well and spreading like wildfire. I have read that white pine is not tolerant of clay at all, although I have no personal experience.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2011 at 3:25PM
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famartin(z5 NE NV)

I didn't think Loblolly was native to Kentucky, but I could be wrong...

    Bookmark   October 23, 2011 at 8:20PM
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I have successfully transplanted loblolly pines 90%. The smaller, the better rate of surviving. The little seedlings about 3-5" tall almost always survived. Now is a good time to transplant. They get less shock if you dig the soil bigger than the plant, letting the roots attached to the soil without being disturbed.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2011 at 9:16PM
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