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Trees/transplanting red maple tree


I need to move a 10 foot red maple tree. What do I need to do to move it and should I add to the site I am moving it to to help it survive the move?

The problem will be to dig enough of the root ball so that the root system will survive. The rootball should be Width = 9-12 in. in diameter/every 1 in. of tree diameter
Depth = 6 in./every 1 in. of tree diameter This will weigh quite a bit so expect that.

For example: A tree trunk diameter 2 inches wide would need a soil ball of 18-24 inches wide and 12 inches deep.

Trees and shrubs that have been dug for transplanting should be planted as soon as possible. Cover a root ball with damp material which will retain moisture (burlap, peat moss, canvas, plastic, etc.) until planting. Plastic should only be used in shaded areas for less than a day or heat injury and/or root suffocation may occur. When a tree or shrub is stored, it should be protected from direct sunlight, winds, and temperature extremes. If any woody plants cannot be planted for more than a week, their roots should be covered with a mulch or moist soil and the plants should be placed in a shaded area. In all cases root systems should not be allowed to dry out. Dry roots can severely decrease the potential for transplant success.

The size of the rootball and the insurance of the rootball not drying out and the critical items.

The new hole should be TWICE the size of the rootball and as deep fill with good top soil and mulch the area around the tree with organic mulch not more than 3 inches deep of mulch and water with 1 inch of water every third day for the first 2 weeks IF it does not rain. You can place a pan under the tree and turn the sprinkler on and when the pan has 1 inch of water in it stop.

I would plant so that the top of the original soil around the tree is the same as the soil level at the new planting site.  


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Jim Hyland


I am an expert in Forestry, Forest Entomology, Forest Pest Control, and Forest Health. Extensive knowledge in Identification of insects and diseases of trees. Expert on Bark beetles and other insects that attack forests. Also a Registrated Forester with extensive knowledge in the management and care of forests.


34 years as State Pest Management Chief in a Southern state. Extensive knowledge in Forestry.

BS with major in Forest Management and Entomology
Registered Forester
Certified Pesticide Appicator

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