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Tips for Successful Tree Transplanting

Transplanting is not successful until the tree returns to a normal growth rate. This transplant recovery period normally takes three years, but may range from 2-8 years. To get the most satisfactory performance from trees, attention must be given to planting details. Your best option is to rely on the expertise of a tree care company. They know the proper techniques to use when planting trees. Planting is one of the most important aspects in determining the success or failure of your new tree. Watering, pruning and fertilizing will not compensate for poor planting techniques or poor plant selection. As a guideline, the general planting steps are as follows:

  1. Measure the height and diameter of the rootball or root spread.
  2. Dig the hole close to the same depth as the rootball or root depth. The hole diameter should be at least 2 to 3 times the diameter of the rootball or root spread.
  3. Identify the root flare, the point of the tree where the trunk ends and roots begin.
  4. Set the tree on undisturbed solid ground in the center of the area. Depending on the type of soil, the root flare should be planted at the same level to 2-3″ higher than the level of the surrounding soil.
  5. Backfill with the original soil removed from the hole. Adding organic matter to the backfill usually is not recommended other than in a few situations.
  6. Use water to settle the soil around the rootball to secure the plant.
  7. Mulch 5-10 cm (2 -4 inch) deep with woodchips, bark mulch, or other suitable mulch.
  8. Trees should be pruned to remove broken, damaged or dead branches.