Want to learn how to transplant a tree in summer? There’s a lot to consider, from selecting the right tree to figuring out where to put it. In this post, Island Tree Service, Fort Myers’ tree service company, explains how to do just that.
Think About the Size of the Tree
Measure the diameter of the tree at breast height. If it is over four inches, leave the tree transplantation to the professionals because the root ball is larger than you think. A tree of this size will also experience more distress during the process because it’s well-established.
Get the Timing Right
To properly transplant a tree, you must get the timing right. Do not wait for the hottest time of year, and try not to move your tree after it starts leafing out without professional help. While you can move a tree in summer, it’s better to wait for it to become dormant first.
Figure Out Where to Put It
Why are you moving the tree? If it’s because of a failure to thrive, make sure that the new spot is better suited. Is there adequate water and sunlight? Is there less competition for resources? Finally, envision what a full-size tree will look like in the new spot so you can be sure you’ll like it. You won’t be able to move it again.
Digging the Hole
One important tip when it comes to how to transplant a tree in summer is to dig the hole at the transfer site first. This shortens the time the roots are out of the soil and vulnerable to the heat. The hole should be double the width of the root ball and a little shallower than its current depth.
Start with a hole that is at least three feet by two feet for a healthy tree. If the root ball is bigger, you can adjust from there.
Dig Up Your Tree
Digging out the tree is a slow process that can sometimes be difficult. Start digging at the outer edge of the canopy, or about three feet away from the trunk, and go about two feet down.
Check how vigorous the root growth is. If it consists of thick roots, expand your diameter. If not, cut through the roots using angular cuts from a sharp spade. If this doesn’t work, you need to move your diameter outwards.
Digging out all the roots is virtually impossible, but you don’t want to cut away more than one-third of them. The idea is to have strong support for your tree but also have a root ball that is easier to move.
It’s Time for the Move
Wrap the root ball in a sack to make it easier to move and lift the tree out. If there is no other choice, lay it on its side and create a sling around the root ball with a tarp. It will then be easier to move. Place the ball in the new hole and make sure that it sticks out slightly.
Fill in the Hole
When the tree is in the ground, add the soil back in and water it a little every so often so the moist soil trickles into the gap. This prevents air pockets from forming. Create a bowl shape in the ground and then deeply water the tree. Finish things off with a layer of mulch.