The Q&A Archives: Transplanting evergreens

Question: I am in Central New Hampshire.

Is this time of year (October) OK to transplant evergreens? I would like to transplant several pine trees from the woods on my property to another location. Any tips or suggestions would be appreciated.

The trees range in size from 2 feet tall to 4 feet tall. Will these have too large a root system to transplant successfully? Any suggestion for fertilizer to help the transplant will be appreciated.


Answer: October is too late to tranplant evergreens in New Hampshire, they will not have enough time to become rooted before the ground freezes solid. It would be better to wait until late winter/early spring, before the buds swell. Three feet is the rule of thumb for transplanting evergreens; the smaller the better. Take as much of the root system as you possibly can and do not let the roots dry out while you move them. With natural grown trees this can be quite difficult as the roots may spread very wide. After replanting, water as needed to keep the soil evenly moist (damp like a wrung out sponge) and keep them mulched with two to three inches of organic mulch. If you are placing these in a prominent place in your landscape, you might want to consider purchasing trees -- they will have a more compact root system and better chance of establishing quickly. But again, wait until spring. Good luck with your evergreens!

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