The Q&A Archives: Relocating Small Pine

Question: We have to dig up a small pine tree for a period of 3 days while some construction work is completed on our house. Our intention is to put the tree back once the construction is finished. What is the best way to dig up the tree and prevent it from dying during that time period?

Answer: The most important thing for you to do is keep the rootmass from drying out during the interim. Water the area well the day before you plan to dig (this makes digging much easier!), then dig a generous hole so you damage as few roots as possible. Immediately after removing the tree, wrap the roots in moistened burlap (or an old bedsheet), and place the tree in a shaded area of the yard. Apply water as often as necessary to keep the roots from drying out. Then, after replanting, water well to help settle the earth. Water your tree once each week throughout the summer season. It should recover from the shock of being uprooted and begin normal growth by this fall.

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