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Transplanting trees

Posted by neptune24 8A, GA (My Page) on
Tue, Mar 25, 14 at 22:29

Today, I was visited by some bozos at our local EMC. We've had a pine tree growing for over 13 years, but suddenly it was "too close to the line" and they chopped the whole thing down. Before today, they had never even mentioned it. (A similar thing happened with our power company about 6 years ago--they chopped down 2 trees without giving us any notice at all.) What is with these people? They only visit once a decade and then suddenly everything has to come down???

Anyway, it could have been worse. At least they spared my quince tree, which they said should be transplanted. There's also a small red maple nearby that I'll probably transplant as well.

A few questions:

1) When's the best time to transplant these trees? I'm thinking fall would be best, since it would give me time to root-prune them. (And the quince has already started to leaf out.) The maple is about 4 feet tall, and the quince about 9 feet tall (with the trunk about an inch in diameter at the base). I planted the maple in the fall of 2012, and the quince in the fall of 2010. Neither has grown very much.

2) How exactly do you root-prune a tree?

3) When you dig up a tree, how far out do you dig, and how deep?

4) Does anyone have any other helpful tips for transplanting trees?

Thanks for any help with this.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Transplanting trees

Hello Neptune, what is an EMC? I am not familiar with the term.

After all that complaining folks did a several years back about the lights being out for a week after an ice storm our power company Ameren has FINALLY been allowed to clear their right of ways. Generally they ignore small bushes but go after trees. Even the Locusts the cities of Hazelwood and Florissant insisted on planting right under the lines along US 67.

Far as moving trees:

1: Fall is the best time I agree. Right after the leaves fall off for the Maple I would venture. Quince I really don't know but I assume fall.

2: Your transplants seem large enough to be established but I am not in favor of root pruning. Just seems like double wounding the tree and making it suffer for two straight years. Others may disagree.

3: A 9 foot tall tree might be a bear to remove. I would expect to have to dig two feet down and maybe four around? Have a wheelbarrow to help move it ready. I doubt more earth is possible to move. Some trees take well to bare rooting. You won't have to drag the weight of the dirt around either, but that would be a lot of time in the mud with a hose to pull that off.

4: Other advice...dig the new hole only as deep as it needs to be to prevent settling, no deeper. Cut the edges with your shovel alot to encourage lateral root growth.

Other hints? I spent WAY too much time and effort digging up and replanting a Crepe Myrtle a few years back. It didn't miss a beat, but the replacement cost was only $20 and I did three hours of back breaking labor to avoid spending $20 AND involved my neighbor's truck lol.

But I understand if they have sentimental value or the like and it was something the neighbor and I still talk about doing.


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RE: Transplanting trees

Thanks for the detailed response and advice, toronado3800. EMC stands for Electric Membership Corporation. Interesting about Ameren. I don't have a problem with companies doing that sort of thing in general, but they need to use some intelligence. They need to come by at least once a year, and if a tree may be a problem, they need to give the customer a *warning*. You don't just come by once a decade and start pruning like crazy. Fact is, the pine tree they cut down today was not a danger to the wire at all. Maybe in 10 years it would have been, but as of today, I suspect it was at least 10 feet from touching any wires. I think they're just trying to find busy work or something like that. :P

Interesting about root-pruning. And I also like your advice about possibly replacing the trees to save trouble. The maple tree shouldn't be that difficult, but the quince tree might not be worth it. It was 8 feet when I got it in 2010, and still hasn't produced any quinces! It also has had rust disease, or whatever you call it. In some ways, it's kind of useless. The best bet might just be to leave it there and possibly order another variety from a different company. That might cost as much as $75, but would save a lot of time and effort.

Any idea how deep and how wide I'd have to dig for the 4-foot maple?


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RE: Transplanting trees

Darn, I was guessing Eight Men in Coats...something like a cross between the Men in Black and the local HOA. Oh well.

As for transplanting your tree, here are fairly detailed instructions that will hopefully cover all the basics:
Planting a Tree or Shrub

and here is a guide for rootball size:
Generic Rootball Size Guide


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RE: Transplanting trees

I stopped one day to tell the power company contractor carefully pruning a tree below the power line ... that the tree they were working on was in fact dead and could be quickly and easily just cut to the ground. Later I noticed they paid no attention and just trimmed it (which no doubt took much more time and effort).

It happened to be a Mimosa tree and that happens on a regular basis here - always pruned (and horribly), never removed. A real shame. I wish they were learn about invasive trees and remove them on sight.

We have an EMC here as well, but I do think they contract the work out most of the time. They've been on a real tear lately; last year there was vast destruction around the power lines.


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RE: Transplanting trees

you must move a tree in dormancy ... leafless makes it all stress-less .. giving the roots time to regrow .. before the next set of leaves come in ...

you dig it up.. right after you dig the new hole.. dig it out.. put in new hole.. etc ...

see link on process

see pic below on a 6 to 8 footer i dug out and replanted ..

root pruning is very old school.. why stress the tree repeatedly ... just dig it out once ...

i can not tell you when the appropriate time is for GA ... you may have missed it.. if they are leafed out ... plan on fall or winter ..

ken

 photo BarerootCherry050406003.jpg

Here is a link that might be useful: link


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RE: Transplanting trees

"Darn, I was guessing Eight Men in Coats...something like a cross between the Men in Black and the local HOA. Oh well."

Well, maybe someone can come up with a group like that. LOL.

"As for transplanting your tree, here are fairly detailed instructions that will hopefully cover all the basics:
Planting a Tree or Shruband here is a guide for rootball size:"

Thanks for the links, brandon7.
----------------------------------
"I stopped one day to tell the power company contractor carefully pruning a tree below the power line ... that the tree they were working on was in fact dead and could be quickly and easily just cut to the ground. Later I noticed they paid no attention and just trimmed it (which no doubt took much more time and effort)."

I guess they thought they were the experts, esh_ga. LOL.

"It happened to be a Mimosa tree and that happens on a regular basis here - always pruned (and horribly), never removed. A real shame. I wish they were learn about invasive trees and remove them on sight."

Interesting. We have a mimosa too, and I only recently learned that it's considered a pest in GA. Too bad it's not near a power line. ;) At least the flowers are pretty.

"We have an EMC here as well, but I do think they contract the work out most of the time. They've been on a real tear lately; last year there was vast destruction around the power lines."

Vast destruction caused by the EMC, or by the weather?
--------------------------------------------------------
"you must move a tree in dormancy"

Well, if you tell me I *have* to, I'm tempted to buck the tide. LOL. ;)

"... leafless makes it all stress-less .. giving the roots time to regrow .. before the next set of leaves come in ..."

Thanks, ken--yes, that makes sense.

"see link on process
see pic below on a 6 to 8 footer i dug out and replanted .."

Thanks for the link and pic.

"root pruning is very old school.. "

Well, I certainly don't want to be called a square, that's for sure. ;)

"why stress the tree repeatedly ... just dig it out once ..."

That makes things even easier.

"i can not tell you when the appropriate time is for GA ... you may have missed it.. if they are leafed out ... plan on fall or winter .. "

I think that's what I'll do. Besides, I had no advance notice. If the bozos had come by a month or so ago, I would have planned to do the transplanting in March.


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RE: Transplanting trees

I suspect you where looking at the tree on a sunny nice day? look at in a 40-50 mph wind. the wires swing, the tree swings, and your light are out. trees are expensive, dangerous, and unpopular to cut down. utilities do not do it for the fun of it, they do it to keep your lights on. the reason they do not cut the dead ones and prune them is for the same reasons. expense. they pose no danger once pruned, and then they do not have to pay to clean up the mess. often they claim there may be a bird or a bug living in the dead tree, and they do not want to harm the birds nest,habitat, etc. bottom line is power companies try to keep the lights on, while spending as little as possible.


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RE: Transplanting trees

ps. with a little sunlight your others trees may prosper, and your grass will grow!


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