Transplanting a Japanese maple tree - Knowledgebase Question

Haverhill, Ma
Question by kfrieband
April 6, 2010
We would like to possibly transplant a Japanese maple tree, but is there some rule of thumb on how far away you need to plant this specific tree from any water or gas pipes? And what kind of root system does the Japanese maple have? Does it spread out, or is it fairly shallow and localized? I think the tree is about 20 feet high and may have been here as long as 12 years ago.

Answer from NGA
April 6, 2010


If your tree has been in the ground for 12 years, it has probably reached its mature size and moving it won't be an easy task. You will probably need to hire a professional to dig and move the tree. The roots will be in the top 12-18" of soil and will reach out about one and one half times the size of the canopy. Some of the smaller roots can be severed when digging but it's important to keep the majority of the major roots intact and without injury. Hope this answers your questions.

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