Maybe when you moved into your dream home, you noticed that beautiful tree in your backyard and thought, that would look so good if I could put it in my front yard. Or your tree has flourished to the point of outgrowing its current location. When is a good time to move/transplant your tree?
As with most things, it all depends on the type of tree. However, the biggest rule of thumb is to try to move it when it is dormant and not freezing. You want to move it before the colder weather hits or before the tree starts sprouting new foliage.
What is dormant?
During the winter months, trees go into their form of hibernation, called dormancy. While they may seem like they are sleeping or even dead, they’re doing quite a bit to keep going. They drop their leaves and fill their cells with water. Upon the arrival of winter, some of this water goes into the spaces between the cells. This water then becomes the barrier for the trees to protect against possible freezing.
Why transplant trees when they’re dormant?
During the non-dormancy period, trees are heavily reliant on the steady water flow coming to their roots. If this is cut off during the critical period, the tree maybe harmed and have a hard time adapting to its new environment. It would be similar to being in a nice warm shower and having someone dump ice cold water on you.
Dormant trees do not rely on water as much. They’ve lost their leaves and any fruits. They have time to establish their roots and get acclimated to their new environment before the new water supply becomes essential.
However, a critical warning. Do not move trees during extreme cold spells. This could dramatically damage the roots and prevent proper transplantation.
The following are some general rules of thumb for transplanting:
Maple: Late Fall
If you are wanting to transplant your tree, talk to our certified arborist at Sexy Trees. He can provide you key details to avoid damaging your tree.