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RE: Transplanting Fir Trees

  • Subject: RE: [cg] Transplanting Fir Trees
  • From: "Jim Call" <jimcall@casagarden.com>
  • Date: Sat, 27 Mar 2004 13:51:28 -0600
  • Importance: Normal

Connie,
Dig up as much of the rootball as you and your husband (or boyfriend) can manage.  Wrap it in burlap and tie it up or place the rootball in a large plastic planter and fill it with leaf mulch.  Place the rootball or container end toward the back of the cab of the truck.  If the tree has leaves, wrap it gently with a lightweight tarp. Wind damage will cause leaf burn so you will need to minimize exposure.  Do not wrap the tree until you are ready to transport it to its new home.  A plastic tarp creates a hot environment especially if exposed to the sun.
 
Make sure you plant the tree properly.  Do not dig a hole to the exact size of the rootball. This will create a claypot environment and its roots will have hard time extending out, plus the hole created in this manner may end of drowning the roots.  The hole should be dug to about twice the size of the rootball.  Contrary to popular belief, the root system of trees are primarily in the top 18" of the soil.  Being only 5' tall, the tree will probably will not need staking.  
 
Remember, the first year of a transplanted tree's life is the most important. You need to take special measures to ensure that it is watered properly.   Being in the south, I put a water retentive polymer around the rootball when planting the tree.  This crystal like amendment swells up like jello when exposed to water, then releases it slowly to surrounding plants or trees.  If you have alot of rain normally during the season, I would forego using it. I also put down some slow release fertilizer designed for trees.
 
Transplant the tree as soon as possible.  Spring is here. 
 
One more thing, put a 3 to 4 inch layer of wood chips or leaf mulch around the tree (3' out from tree itself) .  I can't say enough about mulching.  Do not pile the mulch to a foot or more around the tree.  We have a bunch of idiots around here that seem to think the higher the mulch around the tree, the better.   I think they must have attended the Bozo School of Landscaping.  
 
Hope this helps,
 
Jim, sometimes vegetable gardener, sometimes tree planter.   
-----Original Message-----
From: community_garden-admin@mallorn.com [mailto:community_garden-admin@mallorn.com]On Behalf Of Connie Nelson
Sent: Saturday, March 27, 2004 12:03 AM
To: community_garden@mallorn.com
Subject: [cg] Transplanting Fir Trees

Once again I come to the listserv for advice.  I have a small fir tree, approximately 5 feet tall, that beautiful though it is, must be moved.  The tree is located too close to the house and could create problems down the road if left in its present spot. 
 
I don't want to just chop it down, rather move it to a place more suited to its anticipated growth.  Once dug up, it's taking a cross-town trip in the back of a pickup, about a 30 minute drive, to a relative's house for planting.
 
Would you please give me some advice on how to do it with minimal shock to the tree? 
 
Thanks!
Connie Nelson
Spokane, WA


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