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Large Tree Transplanting

Discussion in 'Homeowner Helper Forum' started by firecatf7333, Jun 1, 2016.

  1. firecatf7333

    firecatf7333 ArboristSite Lurker

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    New house with no shade in upstate NY. I'd like to plant a few Soft Maples. I have a bobcat and could borrow my friends 10klb Mini Ex. How big of a tree can I realistically transplant that will survive. I can pick trees on my land with enough room for a mini and bobcat. Digging around the tree seems easy but getting underneath it and also keeping the root ball in tact is where idk how it would go. Can I move a 6" diameter tree?
     
  2. ATH

    ATH Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I'd want at least a 66" diameter root ball for a 6" tree. Larger would be better since this hasn't been root pruned to keep roots concentrated.
     
  3. derwoodii

    derwoodii Tree Freak

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    you can go 6 inch dia tho beware the skill and experience to do job wont come on 1st try plus timing important its your spring/summer now so perhaps a bit late as best avoid the harmful heat.

    suggest if still keen look about advanced grown trees some tree nurserys have them crated and ready to lift for planting the real cost is transport and digging. then you have whats know as transplant shock in that large trees may take a few years to kick on after a move and some argue your best planting smaller & more cost effective trees over 5 so year run

    anyhoo good luck

     
    TNTreeHugger and ATH like this.
  4. ATH

    ATH Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Dude in the video needs to learn to measure diameter!

    If they are there with the Air Spade to move the Birch, why wouldn't they bare-root the pine too???
     
  5. derwoodii

    derwoodii Tree Freak

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    had me wondering but helpful for op to show how to and just how much effort required
     
  6. ATH

    ATH Addicted to ArboristSite

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    "....just how much effort required...." Well, kinda. But they made it way look too easy!!!
     
  7. BC WetCoast

    BC WetCoast Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I had to transplant a 6" 12' tall Japanese maple. Got sent out alone with hand tools. :laughing:

    After digging a trench about 3" from the trunk below the root zone, I used a rope lassoed under the root ball to cut off any lower roots. Tied the rope to the truck to do the cutting. Then had to go back to the yard and get the bobcat to lift and move the tree. Barely able to lift it, rear wheels were bouncing for sure.

    Good thing I only had to move it about 15' in the yard.

    However, it survived. I did this several years and drove by it a couple of weeks ago and it's still alive.:dancing:
     
  8. stltreedr

    stltreedr ArboristSite Operative

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    If you're planting soft Maples I wouldn't even worry about planting bigger ones- especially if you don't know what you're doing. IF...IF they survive, they are going to experience transplant shock for several years after you dig them. Might as well plant a 2.5-3" Caliper tree and it will be 6" in 3-4 years. Much less risky in my opinion.

    BTW you don't really want to dig up the roots with a bobcat or excavator- you should sharpen a spade and cut the roots cleanly with that. Balling and burlapping is always a little tricky to keep the root balls together..

    Here's my advice-
    1st- Plant almost anything but a soft maple
    2nd- If you are going to plant one, they are getting ready to go on sale at every big box store.. you can probably pick up a 15 footer for about $30. Buy some gator bags and water the crap out of them for the rest of the summer and save yourself a whole lot of trouble.
     

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