Can You Move a Tree Without Killing It?

You may need to move a tree for various valid reasons. Perhaps you have a landscaping project or home addition that requires you to move a tree. Or, maybe the tree has outgrown its current space and needs a new home.  

Whatever the case, you may wonder, “Can you move a tree without killing it?” In this post, we discuss whether you can move a tree without killing it and how to go about it. You can also schedule service with the most reliable tree service in Falls Church.  

Transplanting a Tree  

Once you decide to relocate a tree, consider hiring a professional with the knowledge and equipment to do the job right. Transplanting a tree may prove challenging, especially when dealing with a large plant (one with a tree trunk diameter greater than two inches at chest height).  

Evaluate and Prepare the New Site  

Choose a suitable site to move the tree. You want an area with plenty of space for the tree to grow to maturity, with full sun exposure and good drainage. Once you choose the new location, dig the hole for the plant.   

Preparing the site in advance makes the transition easier and increases the chances of success.  

Prune the Roots  

The tree-moving process typically begins with root pruning a couple of months before the actual relocation. Pruning tree roots sparks the growth of new feeder roots that will help the tree better adapt to its new home.  

Transplant the Tree 

Can you move a tree without killing it? Yes, but you want to move it when it’s dormant to lessen the shock. Most trees are dormant between autumn and early spring before they start sprouting new growth. To transplant it, you should:

  1. Water the soil three days before you dig. You want to soak the root ball before moving so that the soil sticks together as you dig.  
  2. Carefully dig the soil away from the root ball, then wrap the entire ball in natural burlap. How far to dig depends on the tree’s species and age, so do a bit of research. Use natural twine to tie the burlap tightly around the root ball to ensure it remains intact when you carry it.  
  3. Uproot the tree by lifting it out of the ground, then move it carefully to its new location.  
  4. Set the plant at the same depth in the new hole and fill in around the root ball with the soil you had removed previously. 

Maintain the Transplanted Tree

Transplanted trees need extra care to recover from the shock of moving. Depending on the size of the tree, terrain, and exposure to wind, you may need to stake the tree to provide additional support.  

Make sure the tree gets enough water, but not too much. Generally, you want to water the tree regularly and deeply within the first few weeks of moving.   

Refrain from fertilizing the tree for at least a year so it can focus on rebuilding a stable root system rather than producing new growth. With patience, planning, and proper tree care, the plant will get accustomed to its new home and thrive for years to come.  

Contact Your Local Tree Care Specialists  

Are you looking for a company with a different perspective on tree care? G&V strives to deliver the best tree service in the Nothern Virginia and Maryland area. We actually care about trees and focus on giving honest opinions. Our services include:  

  • Tree removal  
  • Cabling and bracing  
  • Tree pruning  
  • Storm damage service  

Reach our friendly team at (703) 569-2570 to request a free estimate or for answers to questions such as, “Can you move a tree without killing it?” and, “Is my tree dead or dormant?”