Ask a Question forum→Transplanting 10-12 feet tall evergreen trees?

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Name: Sasha Palmer
Baltimore, MD (Zone 7b)
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sashaapalmer
Apr 23, 2018 9:09 AM CST
Hi,

We've got evergreen trees, most likely, Green Giants Arborvitae on both sides of the porch. They looked nice and neat when we moved into our house seven years ago, but since then they've grown so much, and they keep on growing. They are way too big, and out of place, where they are now.

They are healthy, though. So, we're on the fence about cutting them down.

Is it at all possible to transplant evergreens that big? (They are about 10-12 feet now, with multiple trunks.)

Has anybody here done this?

Thank you so much!
Name: Amanda
KC metro area, Missouri (Zone 6a)
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pepper23
Apr 23, 2018 12:18 PM CST
It's possible but doing it by hand will almost surely kill them because you won't be able to get enough tap root to keep it alive. You need a lot of tap root in order for them to survive. Since they are so plentiful and cheap, it's better to cut them down instead of transplanting. You can get some that are 6 feet tall for about 30 bucks at your local big box store.
Name: Sasha Palmer
Baltimore, MD (Zone 7b)
Live for the Love of it.
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sashaapalmer
Apr 23, 2018 2:37 PM CST
pepper23 said:It's possible but doing it by hand will almost surely kill them because you won't be able to get enough tap root to keep it alive. You need a lot of tap root in order for them to survive. Since they are so plentiful and cheap, it's better to cut them down instead of transplanting. You can get some that are 6 feet tall for about 30 bucks at your local big box store.


I also just don't see handling trees that big, tall and wide..definitely not a one-person job, but would be very difficult even for two people.
It's either we keep them where they are or we cut them down, I think.
Thank you for your reply!
Name: Big Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
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BigBill
Apr 23, 2018 2:55 PM CST
You might have another possibility. If they are multi trunked beautiful specimens perhaps you could donate them to a local nursery. They often get jobs where these plants might be just what a client needs to put up a " living fence" or barrier on their property. It might be worth a landscaper or nurserymans time to come in with the appropriate equipment to dig them out and transplant them.
Rather then just cutting them down it might be worth a shot. Just don't expect any money in return or replacement plants. It will cost them time and effort to remove them.
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Name: Deb
Planet Earth (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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Bonehead
Apr 23, 2018 3:05 PM CST
Or would it be possible to prune them back to a manageable size? I don't have much experience with arbs, but it seems I see them in tidy little rows quite often. Might be worth having one of those tree arborist people come out and give you a bid on managing their size. My brother-in-law bought a house with a nice mature row of arbs between his back fence and a rather messy farmer which he promptly cut down, and has spent time/dollars trying to rescreen. I can only shake my head...
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Name: Sasha Palmer
Baltimore, MD (Zone 7b)
Live for the Love of it.
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sashaapalmer
Apr 23, 2018 4:46 PM CST
BigBill said:You might have another possibility. If they are multi trunked beautiful specimens perhaps you could donate them to a local nursery. They often get jobs where these plants might be just what a client needs to put up a " living fence" or barrier on their property. It might be worth a landscaper or nurserymans time to come in with the appropriate equipment to dig them out and transplant them.
Rather then just cutting them down it might be worth a shot. Just don't expect any money in return or replacement plants. It will cost them time and effort to remove them.


I'll definitely look into this, thank you! We really don't have room for them anywhere in our yard, we thought about transplanting them only because it seems cruel to just cut down healthy trees..but we never considered donating them to a local nursery. Great idea!
Name: Sasha Palmer
Baltimore, MD (Zone 7b)
Live for the Love of it.
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sashaapalmer
Apr 23, 2018 6:07 PM CST
Bonehead said:Or would it be possible to prune them back to a manageable size? I don't have much experience with arbs, but it seems I see them in tidy little rows quite often. Might be worth having one of those tree arborist people come out and give you a bid on managing their size. My brother-in-law bought a house with a nice mature row of arbs between his back fence and a rather messy farmer which he promptly cut down, and has spent time/dollars trying to rescreen. I can only shake my head...

Thank you, but they are beyond pruning...they are great mature privacy screen trees, just growing in the wrong place. I think whoever planted them didn't know how tall they'd eventually become. We certainly didn't know and didn't expect them to become a problem.


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