The Q&A Archives: Relocating Ponderosa Pine

Question: I was up at a job site over the weekend and I noticed that in some of the retention areas there are a lot of Ponderosa Pines. Roughly 90% of them that are in the retention area could be relocated, all averaging about 7

Answer: You can dig and transplant nearly any young plant. The challenge will be in defining the rootmass area and digging without severing too many roots. If these are volunteer trees, the roots may be quite deep; if these trees were planted, the roots are more likely shallow and in a pancake form beneath the surface. In most cases, tree roots travel out at least to the dripline of the canopy; sometimes further. Try digging one tree to see how the roots are structured. It may turn out to be a job that you'll need some heavy equipment rather than a shovel. If you're able to dig the trees, wrap the roots during transit so they won't dry out. Replant so they are growing at the same soil level as they were growing before and be sure to water them deeply once each week so they can re-establish themselves over the cooler winter months.

Best wishes with your project!

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