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This Tree Too Big to Transplant
Old 05-18-2012, 05:52 PM   #1
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This Tree Too Big to Transplant

I'm considering transplanting this redwood next January,

Redwood.jpg

since I have a much better location for it. As you can see, it's 8-10 feet high.

If it's likely to die, however, I'll just cut this one down, and plant a new one in the better location.

Do you think it will survive?
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Old 05-18-2012, 06:12 PM   #2
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It should survive if you can excavate a big root ball when you transplant. The problem with that is weight. - You may need one of these:

Big Trees, Inc. Transplanting Services - Winter Planting Services available.
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Old 05-18-2012, 06:36 PM   #3
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My forestry training tells me you either will spend a lot of time and possibly money still end with a dead tree. Evergreens of that size generally do not have a good survival rate--getting sufficient root system is difficult and pruning back deforms the tree.
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Old 05-18-2012, 08:40 PM   #4
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Found this on the web: "A general rule of thumb is that for every inch of tree diameter there should be 10- 12 of root ball. Anything less and the tree will suffer transplant shock and take much longer to establish."

So if your 10' tree is 5' in diameter you'll want a ~5' root ball (and a big a$$ excavator).
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Old 05-18-2012, 09:10 PM   #5
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We had a similar sized tree and requested a quote to have it moved with one of those giant claws. The arborist said the cost would be equal to buying and planting a similar sized tree, but the chances of survival were less than 50%
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Old 05-18-2012, 09:31 PM   #6
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Yeah, it sounds like it won't even be worth the effort of transplanting it, and I'd waste a year waiting to see if it dies.

Thanks for the info.
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Old 05-19-2012, 11:16 AM   #7
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I would plant the new one in a very large hole. We transplanted a blue spruce (10') and asked the truck to extract an extra root ball from our yard. We planted a new green spruce (5') there along with lots of good soil and fertilizer. Within 5 years it had exceeded the size of the transplanted tree.
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Old 05-19-2012, 02:56 PM   #8
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I actually transplanted this tree when it was smaller. It was doing very poorly in a spot with not enough sun. When I transplanted it, much of the dirt fell off the root ball, and I thought it was doomed. But it followed the standard schedule:

First year it sleeps, second year it creeps, third year it leaps.

Sometimes I think that planting seedlings is the best idea.
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Old 05-19-2012, 03:21 PM   #9
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I have transplanted several trees that size and they have all lived. You need to dig a good size root ball and same for new hole. Move the tree and keep it watered well for the first 30 days. Rent a small back hoe for a day and do it. The very worst that could happen is you need to replace it in a year. A day rental on a back hoe is a lot less then a new tree and will make the job very easy. And find two or three other projects for the day you have the hoe.
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Old 05-19-2012, 06:47 PM   #10
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As important as the size of the tree in considering transplanting, is the ability of the specific specie in question to handle the shock (yes, trees suffer shock when transplanted). Non ornamental species like redwoods, pines, firs, etc are rarely successful transplants. If you do attempt, it is important to wait until dormancy sets in this winter or in very early Spring before buds start to form.
I do not have specific experience with redwoods but given its height, and age, I think you are betting on a long shot. Here is one link you might find of value Transplanting Sequoia Redwoods - Trees Forum - GardenWeb

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