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Transplanting Live Oak young trees

Discussion in 'Homeowner Helper Forum' started by Gina. Fla, Jan 24, 2002.

  1. Gina. Fla

    Gina. Fla New Member

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    We have several live oak seeds that have taken root around our home...they have become young trees ranging in measurements of 8 feet, 1 foot tall and 3 feet. We very much want to keep them but not at their present locations. How do we transplant them, when do we transplant them and what fertilizer do we use to feed them to insure that they won't die during this transplanting? They are really looking good!!
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2002
  2. tshanefreeman

    tshanefreeman ArboristSite Operative

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    To begin, small plants transplant more successfully than do large ones of the same species. Small plants adapt more quickly to unfavorable surroundings and come into balance with their environment. A general rule of thumb is that for every inch diameter of the trees trunk, the tree will have to receive the same number of years of tender-loving-care. Confused? An example could be that a 4 inch diameter tree is transplanted to a new location, therefore, unless wisely watered and manged for 4 consecutive years, the tree may risk dessication. Also, if trees are to survive the transplant process and become assets in their new location, those selected for relocation must be healthy and pest free and possess good structure, bot above- and below-ground.

    Now for the transplanting methods. The methods of transplanting large plants are similar to those used with small plants and depend on plant size and species, soil, and site conditions, lead time before moving, time between digging and planting, distance between digging and planting sites, available equipment, personnel, and funds. The larger and more sensitive a plant is, the harsher the weather, and the greater the time and distance between digging and planting, the more protective methods must be used. Typically, the main/primary methods of transplanting are: bare root, balled-in-burlap, frozen root ball, unprotected root ball, box, or by mechanical tree movers.

    If you are going to attempt to move these trees yourself, you will most-likely use the balled-in-burlap method. The diameter of the root ball should usually be 10 to 12 times the trunk diameter, which is measure approximately 6 inches above the soil for trees up to 4 inches in diameter and 12 inches for larger trees. The proper depth is best determined by root density, which is usually when the ball has been dug deep enough when the root density decreases markedly; going deeper increases the size and weight of the root ball which is unnecessary. Romove as much of the surface soil to the point where the roots become exposed, then protect them from drying out.

    The hole that will become the trees new home need only be large enough to allow backfill soil to be easily worked in around the roots. Most trees larger than 3 inches in diameter should be guyed after being set in the planting hole to keep them upright and avoid shifting that will damage the root balls. Most commonly, the guys with hose buffers are looped in a branch crotch about one-third up the trunk, this ensures minimal injury to the trunk. The guys should also be set at right angles to each other. This will prevent the tree from producing reaction wood, which could alter the present form of the tree.

    Considerable differences of opinion exist as to the wisdom of fertilizing newly planted woody plants. For best results, you should probably contact a local creditable arborist.

    Remember that the transplanting process is not finished at the time when the tree is placed in its new home. TLC (tender-loving-care) will be the best tree care practice that you can give in the years to come. Transplanting is a stressful experience on plants, therefore, they need time to recuperate and establish to their new environment. Goodluck with your upcoming task.

    Shane Freeman
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2002
  3. Gina. Fla

    Gina. Fla New Member

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    Transplanting Young Live Oak Trees

    Thank you very much for the detailed information on transplanting the live oak trees. Is there any specific time of the year that is better to do this? We are in Central Florida, Zone 9. The weather is now in the 80's with mild, breezy days. We are planning to do this this weekend.
     
  4. tshanefreeman

    tshanefreeman ArboristSite Operative

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    Re: Season for Transplanting

    The season of year not only influences the stages of plant growth but in a gross way determines the weather. These factors, in turn, affect the ease with which a particular species can be transplanted.

    In more temperate climates, deciduous plants are most easily transplanted in the fall after the leaves turn color or drop, but before the soil freezes, or in the spring before growth begins. In milder winter climates, most likely like the winters that you are use to, plants can be moved throughout the winter with equal ease as long as the soil does not become too muddy for easy operation of equipment. Whether this is manual, such as a shovel, or mechanical, such as a tree spade.

    The pre-described refers to the best time for the person(s) moving/transplanting the tree.

    Late summer and fall have the advantage of warm soil to encourage root growth, and their shorther and cooler days decrease transpiration. Winter planting takes advantage of cool or cold temperatures, reduced plant activity, and the relative ease of moving frozen root balls over frozen soil. Be aware that winter plantings, however, may desiccate or be injured by the cold.

    Spring planting before top growth begins will avoid most damaging cold weather, allow some root growth before top growth resumes, and ensure ample soil moisture. Most plants, should not be transplanted in late spring and summer, while they are still making rapid top growth. These same trees, however, survive summer transplanting better after spring growth has matured.

    Whatever season, the plant must be protected from freezing and desiccation. It may be wise to avoid moving plants on extremely cold, hot, dry, or windy days.

    As you can see from my global location of Killarney, Manitoba, Canada, I live a long way from your location. The transplanting information that I have given you is general in its makeup and works with the majority of species. I am sure that Florida does not have to worry about frost in the soil, but the heat issues may come into play. I should also point out that I have never transplanted a Live Oak (Quercus virginiana). Hopefully if I have steered you in the wrong direction, someone from your area will correct me.

    Afterall, I have got many years of learning ahead of me yet. This is why I spend the majority of my time on this discussion group, in a classroom, with my face in a text book, or out in the field!

    Good luck with your transplanting.
    Shane Freeman

    Education doesn't have to end at graduation!
     
  5. Gina. Fla

    Gina. Fla New Member

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    Live Oak Transplanting Info

    Thanks Shane for the detailed info, it is much appreciated. Keep up the good work!!! Gina
     
  6. John Paul Sanborn

    John Paul Sanborn Above average climber

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    I too have no experiance with live oak. So one of our southern brothers can correct me.

    With oaks this size, their probibly 1-2 in caliper (measured 6 in from the base) so I would recomend mechanical moving if at all possible. The bigger the ball the better the chances of survival.

    Shane's instruction of excivation to the first order roots is very good, I would also add that you should not pile spoil dirt onto the ball after planting.

    Dig trenches out radialy from the planting after it is in and amend the soil in theis trenches to facilitate outwards root growth.

    Are live oak "tap root" plants, anyone? I know white and bur oak dont move well due to the storage loss if too much of the the "tap" is severed.
     

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