Ask a Question forum: Moving a 4 ft. Tall Scarlet Oak

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Name: Carol H. Sandt
Lancaster County, Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
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csandt
Feb 21, 2018 3:44 PM CST
I need to move a 4 ft. tall scarlet oak that has been in the ground for more than 10 years. I grew it from a young seedling supplied in bulk by Musser Forests.

Can it be moved successfully now or this spring?

If so, how much tap root needs to be dug up with it?

Is now better than later? I am located in south central/southeast PA (zone 6b). It needs to go soon, either as a gift to someone or to the trash.
Carol H. Sandt

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Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Feb 21, 2018 3:47 PM CST
Hi Carol,

I doubt you can successfully transplant an oak - they have really deep taproots. But if you are going to try, do it now.
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Name: Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
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BigBill
Feb 21, 2018 4:57 PM CST
I transplanted dozens of oak seedlings while working as a Wildlife Biologist on Long Island. Just gig carefully and get as much of a rootball as you can.
Pre dig the hole in the new location and use a mix of top soil, peat and a dash of slow release plant food. Stake tree twice from opposite sides to lessen movement from breezes. Make sure for a few months that the transplant does not dry out!
Success rate for me was always around 95% whether they were balled and burlaped or bare root transplants.
"Our children are the messages we send to a time that we will never see."
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Feb 21, 2018 5:22 PM CST
But this tree is 10 years old! But I am basing my opinion on California oaks. Smiling
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

Webmaster: osnnv.org
Name: Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
Orchid Judge
Region: United States of America Echinacea Hostas Region: Michigan Butterflies Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
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BigBill
Feb 21, 2018 7:26 PM CST
It may in fact be too large or two old to move. I transplanted several dozen that were 10-12 feet tall, perhaps up to 2" in diameter. Now they might not be ten years old but they sure are not 1-3years old either.
Heck, if it dies from the attempt, you have got kindling! I tip my hat to you.
"Our children are the messages we send to a time that we will never see."
Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Feb 21, 2018 8:42 PM CST
Ever hear of an air spade? Neither did I. Instead of digging and damaging the roots, the air spade blows the soil away and leaves the roots intact.
Most of us could not afford to hire a tree moving company but at least we can see how they do it.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?...
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Name: Christine
Saugerties, NY zone 5a
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Christine
Feb 22, 2018 7:40 AM CST
I was always under the impression trees should be moved in the fall, if the tree means a lot to you, I'd have a professional move it, just something for you to think about Smiling
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Feb 22, 2018 7:54 AM CST
The tree is only 4ft tall, it should be possible to move it without heavy equipment. Some oaks transplant better than others - I would do it in spring before it leafs out.

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