Maple trees are revered species that provide reliable shade on hot summer days, sweet maple sap in the fall, and beauty to whatever landscape they call home. But sometimes, it is necessary to move a Maple tree from one place to another, which is a process called transplanting.
Transplanting can be a risky project, especially if a tree is mature, ill, weak, or inconveniently-located. And since you love your Maple tree so much, it is important to take all the proper precautions to ensure your transplant is successful. Continue reading to learn some helpful tips for Maple tree transplants, and the best strategy for getting the job done.
Maple Tree Transplants
It is possible to transplant a young Maple tree on your own, but it is strongly encouraged to use professional tree services for larger or more mature trees. Professional companies retain the proper experience and equipment to safely and successfully transplant trees. Even if your tree is small, using professional tree service is the best strategy for getting the job done right. But if you insist on transplanting your tree on your own, start by gathering your needed supplies.
What You’ll Need:
- Gardening Gloves
- Tarp or Wheelbarrow
- Soil Testing Kit (optional)
Prune the roots of your tree during the winter, while it is still dormant. Do this a few months before you plan to actually transplant it. Start by drawing a circle around the base of your tree with a 24-inch radius. Use your spade to make vertical cuts 10 inches deep into the ground, severing the roots as you make your way around the circle.
Next, choose a good location to re-plant your tree. Be sure it is in an area that will receive ample sunlight and water, and has good, well-draining soil. You can purchase a soil testing kit to test the pH levels of your soil before getting started.
Once you have chosen a spot, prepare your hole. Clear all the vegetation surrounding the spot, and dig at least 18 inches deep into the soil, tilling it as you go. The hole should be larger than the tree’s root ball and three times the width. Pour a few gallons of clean water into the hole and allow it to soak in overnight.
Go to the Maple tree and use your rope to mark the Northside of the trunk. Then water the roots deeply. Continue to work the circle you dug before, slowly and steadily, until you can push the shovel entirely underneath the root ball.
Be sure the root ball is not exposed to sun for too long during the move. Retrieve it from the ground using your shovel, and transfer it directly to your tarp or wheelbarrow.
Take it to the hole you have prepared, and gently set it inside. Be sure the Northside is still facing North, and it is standing straight up. Mix in the extracted soil and compact it down with your shovel. Be sure the soil is compact enough to hold the tree in its place.
Use remaining soil to create a lip around the base of the trunk to hold water in. Water the basin deeply, and continue to water every day until the end of the growing season.