Can we move a young maple tree - Knowledgebase Question

Carrboro, No
Question by dreamvoyager
February 28, 2010
We just bought a new home with a maple tree in front of the only two windows on the front of our house. It was planted in August and is about 10 feet tall and 2 to 3 inches in diameter. We don't want it to block the light in the future but we don't want to kill it. It is possible to move it without too much stress? If so how do we do that and lessen the negative impact on the tree.

Answer from NGA
February 28, 2010


You should be able to dig and transplant the tree without problem. I'd dig the new hole first. You'll have to guess at the size of the hole but you'll probably find the root mass will be in the top 18-24" of soil, spreading out as far as the tips of the longest branches. You'll want the planting hole the same depth as the root mass but it's okay to cut off some of the roots that are venturing out into the soil as you dig the tree. So, start with a 2' deep hole, that's about 2-3' wide. Soak the ground the day before you plan to dig the tree. Moist soil is much easier to dig, and the rootmass will hold together better. Dig carefully, retaining as much of the rootmass as possible and set the tree in the new hole. Make sure that it will be growing at the same soil level as it was before and then fill in around the sides with the soil you took out of the hole. Gently tamp it down as you fill the hole. Then water everything thoroughly to help exclude air pockets and help settle the soil. Be sure to water your tree deeply once each week during the growing season. It should establish itself quickly. Best wishes with the move!

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