Safe to Transplant? - Knowledgebase Question

Rowlett, TX
Question by amygavin
May 30, 2007
I have a tree that has sprouted up in my shrubs. I only noticed it because it is now taller than my shrubs. The trunk is about the width of my little finger and overall, the heigth is roughly four and a half feet. Is it safe to transplant it into the yard, or should I move it to a pot till it gets bigger? It is sticking up about 6 inches above the top of my shrubs. As quickly as it is growing, it will make a nice shade tree in just a few years. Also, if I do transplant it, given its size, what will be the best way to stake it and for how long.


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Answer from NGA
May 30, 2007

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Your volunteer tree likely has a very deep root system. It can be moved, but expect to dig a hole 12-18" deep to get the majority of the roots and to avoid severing the tap root. Replant it in the ground rather than a container, giving it the same exposure to sunshine as it had in your flower bed. If you want to plant it in a sunnier spot but sure to provide some temporary shade so it can adjust gradually. I don't think staking will be necessary unless you're planting it in a windy area. If, after it has been in the ground all summer, if it is listing to one side, you can stake it upright.

Best wishes with the move!

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