The Q&A Archives: transplant

Question: What is the best way to transplant a 5 year old , small blue spruce from one location to larger location?

Answer: Your spruce tree should transplant nicely and will suffer less stress if you move it in the autumn or very early spring when the weather is cool and rainfall is (usually) abundant. The cooler temperatures and natural moisture will encourage root growth and help the tree become established. Expect the roots to be concentrated in the top 12 inches of soil and extend out past the tips of the branches. Start digging at the branch tips, making a trench all around the tree. Then dig down and towards the main stem. It's okay to sever some of the smaller feeder roots, but try to keep the rootmass intact as much as possible. Just keep digging all around until you can get under the rootmass. If you need leverage, try using 2 x 4's or crow bars to help pry the rootmass out. Less damage equals less transplant shock so take your time in digging but get it into the ground as soon as possible once you've gotten it out of the ground. Good luck with the move!

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