How to transplant a tree from the woods

How To Transplant a Tree Safely: A Step-by-Step Guide


Whether they’re deciduous or evergreen, shade or ornamental, trees add value and curb appeal to any property. But occasionally, a tree’s placement presents some problems. Perhaps it blocks a construction project like a home expansion or deck addition. Maybe the tree is floundering from inadequate light, soil, or water conditions in its current location.

A tree might also start growing too close to the house or surrounding structures, preventing healthy development. Whatever the situation, that poorly positioned tree doesn’t have to get you down or get chopped down. As long as the healthy sapling’s tree trunk isn’t larger than 2 inches in diameter, a tree owner can follow this guide for how to transplant a tree to another spot in the yard.

If you’re considering how to transplant a tree within your property, be sure to time it right: Trees should be moved during late fall or early spring, since the tree’s dormant state allows for speedy root growth in the new location. If transplanting in the fall, complete the task early enough for the roots to get established before the ground freezes.

Even so, you should start your project much sooner than that; tree roots must be pruned several months prior to the transplant to help the tree thrive in its new location. Keep reading for instructions on how to prune as well as how to transplant your tree—and how to ensure it survives in its new home.

Reasons to Relocate a Tree, Shrub, or Large Plant

Trees do more than add greenery, fruit, or flowers to a landscape. People plant trees to shade patios, driveways, homes, and other plants. Sometimes, a tree outgrows the space it lives in and infringes on structures above the ground or plumbing pipes below. Mature trees can grow too closely to power lines and pruning is just not enough.



Conditions around a tree can change. For example, the city might add a sidewalk, the neighbor puts up a fence, or the garage fills, forcing the shiny family car out to the driveway and under a bird-loving tree.

Some people move to a home with established trees that were planted too close to the house, with the wrong sun exposure, or in a spot where deer or elk are damaging it. Transplanting a tree can prevent damage to a car, roof, and people—or save the tree itself.

Tools & Materials
  • Flat spade
  • Shovel
  • Pruning shears
  • Loppers (optional)
  • Natural burlap
  • Twine
  • See full list «
  • Tarp
  • Mulch
  • Tree stakes

First, Prune the Roots

The process of transplanting a tree begins several months before relocating it with pruning of the roots. This act encourages the growth of new feeder roots (which absorb water and nutrients) closer to the tree’s base to help the tree better adapt to its new location.


If you’re planning to transplant a tree in the fall, then prune roots during the previous spring. If you’re planning to transplant a tree in the spring, then prune roots the previous fall. Plan ahead and prep the tree before cutting any roots by following the steps below.

STEP 1: Water the tree before pruning.

To properly prepare the tree for pruning, water it well the day before. Watering helps ensure the soil sticks to the roots, and moist soil is easier to dig into. Water the area around the matured root ball at least 24 hours before pruning the roots. Apply water slowly through a drip system or from a hose set to a low flow.

how to transplant a tree

STEP 2: Assess how much of the roots to prune.

Calculate how much of the root ball—the cluster of roots at the base of your tree—you intend to prune. As a general rule of thumb, the root ball should be about 1 foot in diameter for every inch of trunk thickness. So, if the trunk is 2 inches thick, aim to prune the root ball to be 2 feet in diameter. Prune in a circle about 2 feet out from the tree’s main stem.

Note: If your tree’s trunk spans more than 2 or 3 inches in diameter, its root ball will be too heavy and fragile for a do-it-yourself landscaping job. Instead, call a professional to see about having this larger tree transplanted.

This chart from PennState Extension shows approximate changes in root ball size based on the tree’s size. Those considering moving a tree will especially want to consider the approximate weight of the plant and soil.

STEP 3: Dig a trench around the root ball.

Cut a narrow trench (about 2 feet deep and about 1 foot wide) around the root ball with a flat spade. Place the spade straight up, perpendicular to the ground, and step on it to force the sharp point through the root. Larger, more mature trees might need a deeper trench dug by professional arborists or landscapers.


Those digging their own trenches should make sure not to dig near any underground utility lines during the course of the project.

STEP 4: Replace the soil around the pruned roots.

Refill the trench with the dug-up soil, carefully placing the subsoil (that from deeper within the trench) underneath the topsoil. Add a 2- to 3-inch layer of mulch on top of the soil above the root ball to help retain moisture and prevent cold damage if the tree will not move until after winter.

When you return months later for the tree’s move, you should find new feeder roots growing closer to the tree trunk when you remove the soil again. The feeder roots are creating a strong root system.


Then, Transplant the Tree

After pruning the roots, give the tree several months to establish a new root system. Ensure the tree looks healthy before removing it from the ground. A sick or damaged plant likely won’t survive relocation. If the tree isn’t thriving (whether from disease or environmental issues), you might need to hold off another season until it becomes healthy again.

Once the tree appears ready to transplant and the timing is right, choose and prep the new site, water the tree, and dig around and under the root ball. Once the tree is ready for its new home, follow recommendations for planting an established tree from a trusted source.

STEP 5: Choose a suitable new site.

Choose a new location carefully. Make sure the new spot has sufficient space for the tree to grow, as well as proper soil, light, and water conditions. Think about the tree’s mature size in terms of canopy growth up high and root growth below the ground.

Every type of tree has different requirements, so take the time to do your research. After all, poor conditions might be the reason the tree needed a new home in the first place.


STEP 6: Water the tree before transplanting.

If planning to move a tree in fall, water as needed during summer dry spells to keep the roots healthy. Tree roots cut in fall for a spring move might need some water during especially dry winters.

Then, water the tree’s soil one day before transplanting. Moist soil is easier to dig and helps keep the root ball cohesive. Make sure that soil receives moisture around the entire circle of the trench.

STEP 7: Dig a hole in the new location.

In the new location, dig a hole that’s about three times as wide, yet the same depth, as the root ball to give the lateral roots room to spread out. Don’t dig the hole too deeply, or the roots might rot.

Take care to save the dug-up soil, separating the topsoil from the subsoil. Water the hole well to infuse some extra moisture into the soil, which will help hold the root ball together.


STEP 8: Dig around the tree.

Using a shovel, remove the topsoil near the trunk and roots of the tree. Then start digging around the tree with a sharp, flat spade about 6 inches further out than the pruned roots. Digging several inches past the trench ensures that you include most (if not all) of the new feeder roots that will help the tree adjust to its new location.

Dig at least 1 or 2 feet down to be sure the shovel can get under the root ball. If you come across any older, stubborn roots in the trench path that were missed months ago, cut them with pruning shears or—in the case of larger roots—loppers.

STEP 9: Dig under the root ball.

After digging all the way around the circumference of the tree, start to dig under the tree to sever the roots beneath. Remember to leave the diameter of the root ball intact. If a tree trunk is 2 inches in diameter, then dig a little more than 2 feet down in order to get the full root ball.


Gently rocking the root ball within the hole can help determine whether any roots undetected before remain attached. Carefully remove loose soil from around the root ball.

STEP 10: Use burlap to lift out the tree.


Once the tree is completely free of the ground in the hole, place a sheet of natural burlap in the hole and coax the tree roots over it. Heavier root balls might need to be gently rolled out of the hole and onto the burlap. Be sure the burlap will cover the entire root ball.

Lift the tree from the ground with the burlap (never by the trunk) to prevent breakage. Having another person on hand to help contain the tree roots in the burlap and lift the tree from the ground will help immensely.

STEP 11: Move the tree to the new location.

Secure the burlap together with twine to keep the soil together, and carry the tree to its new position. If it’s too heavy to carry, place the burlap-covered root ball on a tarp to drag it to the new location without damaging roots and losing soil. You can lift the burlap onto cardboard or a sturdy cart if easier.

STEP 12: Place the tree in the new hole.

Set the tree into the fresh hole, making sure that the base of the trunk is level with the ground. Often, the tree crown and trunk area shows a color change to indicate the soil level in its previous location. Assuming the tree was healthy and not planted too deep or high, this might be a helpful guide.

Add any soil necessary to achieve the proper height. Once the tree is set in the hole, remove the burlap and twine.

STEP 13: Fill in the soil.

Fill the ground around the tree with soil from the dug hole, making sure to place the subsoil in the bottom of the hole and the topsoil on top. Tamp the soil down gently as you go. Water thoroughly, all the way out to the edge of the hole site.


Then add 2 to 3 inches of mulch around the base of the tree, being careful not to push it up onto the trunk. The mulch helps to promote adequate moisture levels and temperature as the tree becomes used to its new home..

Maintaining a Transplanted Tree

The care you give a tree after transplanting is extremely important. If the tree is smaller, planted on flat terrain, and not exposed to a lot of wind, you shouldn’t need to stake it. The roots will actually grow deeper and stronger if you don’t. But consider staking unsteady or larger trees.

After transplanting, ensure the tree gets enough water in relation to the climate, soil type, and rainfall levels. Generally, home gardeners should plan to water the tree deeply and regularly in the first few weeks. Apply water slowly with a drip system or low-flow emitter to ensure the water trickles down to the feeder roots.

Transplanted trees typically need more water than normal in the first year of recovery from the move. Avoid overwatering to the point of soggy soil. Refrain from fertilizing the tree for at least one year; you want the tree to concentrate its energy on rebuilding a root system instead of producing new growth.

Be patient as the tree recovers; it will not produce much growth in its first season in the new home. But with some planning and thoughtful care, you’ll be able to enjoy your transplanted tree in its new location for many years to come.


FAQ About Tree Transplanting

Transplanting a tree requires some planning and a little knowledge. Here are answers to some common questions about moving trees.

Can you uproot a tree and replant it?

You can uproot trees that are fairly healthy and not too large (no more than 2 or 3 inches in diameter at the main stem). However, transplanting can shock a tree and plenty can go wrong if you rush the process or skip steps to carefully prune and replant the tree.


It helps to call in a pro to move a large tree or one in poor health. In fact, uprooting and replanting a failing tree might bring it new life.

How do you move a tree without killing it?

Prep the roots way ahead of the move to ensure they stay healthy and ready to reestablish in the new location. Use natural burlap and twine to hold the root ball together and protect it during the move. Then place something under the burlapped ball to drag, roll, or carry the plant to its new location. Enlist the help of a friend, rented equipment, or a pro if necessary to ensure the tree has a safe journey.

What time of year is best to transplant trees?

Time of year depends on the tree type. Most trees fare best when moved in late fall or early spring, while they are dormant. Evergreen trees usually do best with a spring transplant, which gives them time to grow new roots through summer. Avoid transplanting less than about 6 weeks before upcoming stressful weather, such as peak summer heat or winter freeze. If unsure, check with local extension offices or tree care companies for timing specific to your area and the tree type.

How do you prepare a tree for transplanting?

Follow the steps above for properly pruning tree roots, letting them rest several months, and then carefully removing the root ball. Be sure to protect the roots through their waiting period and ensure they receive adequate water during their rest and just before transplanting.

Final Thoughts

Transplanting a tree can bring it new life, but can stress the tree. With a little patience and time, however, you can help a tree through the transition by taking care to complete all steps before, during, and after transplanting.

Need a hand?

Some jobs are better left to the pros. Receive free, no-commitment estimate from lawn service professionals near you.

Find Pros Now


Transplanting Established Trees and Shrubs

Moving established shrubs from one location to another is one method of changing your landscape and saving money at the same time. The job may be intimidating, but good preparation will make the project somewhat easier and less time-consuming. Careful attention to recommended practices (root pruning, methods of digging and root protection) will improve your chances of success in getting a plant off to a good start after you move it.

Root Pruning

Roots of trees and shrubs normally grow well beyond the soil volume that can be moved. To keep most of the roots within a small area, root prune in the spring or fall before transplanting. Plants to be moved in the fall (October or November) should be root pruned in March, and those to be moved in spring (March) should be root pruned in October. Root prune only after leaves have fallen from deciduous plants in fall or before bud break in the spring. Plants may be damaged severely if done at other times. Roots within the pruned area grow many branches and form a strong root system within a confined area. If not root pruned, the plant may die from transplant shock because of root loss.

Before beginning, tie up the branches of low-branched or bushy plants to help avoid injury and keep them out of your way. Heavy twine is usually used, but burlap strips or one-quarter-inch rope is acceptable. Attach the twine to a branch at the base of the plant, wind it around the plant to the top and tie it in a loop.

Begin root pruning by marking a circle the size of the desired ball around the tree or shrub, and then dig a trench just outside the circle. The depth of the trench and diameter of the circle are listed in the tables following the text. (These ball sizes are recommended by the American Association of Nurserymen.) Be careful to separate the topsoil and subsoil so that when you backfill the trench you will replace the subsoil layer first and topsoil on top. After backfilling, water the area to settle the disturbed soil, remove air pockets and provide adequate moisture for new root development. Untie branches after root pruning.

Digging the Plant

Before digging the plant, tie up the branches as for root pruning. Mark a branch that faces north so the plant can be properly oriented when planted. Also, mark the trunk where it meets the soil. When replanting, make sure you plant so that this mark is an inch above the soil line of the planting hole. The plant is now ready to be transplanted.

Shrubs less than 3 feet tall and deciduous trees less than an inch in trunk diameter (measured 6 inches above the ground) may be moved bareroot. “Bareroot” means that most or all of the soil is removed from the roots after digging the plant. You can more easily handle a larger root system with the bareroot method than if you dig a plant with a ball of soil around the roots. Bareroot plants should be planted while they are dormant.

Trees greater than an inch in trunk diameter (measured 6 inches off the ground) and all broadleaf and narrowleaf evergreens should be moved with the soil attached. Ball sizes should always be large enough in diameter and depth to encompass enough of the fibrous and feeding root system to provide for the full recovery of the plant.

Trees that are difficult to move (beech, hickory, sweet gum, hornbeam, sassafras, tupelo, walnut and white oak) need larger root balls than trees that are easy to transplant. Trees growing in loose, well-drained soil, such as a sandy soil, will have more extensive or spreading root systems than trees growing in a hard, poorly drained soil such as tight clay.

The digging operation consists of digging a trench around the plant and removing the soil. The trench should be dug far enough from the plant to preserve a large proportion of the fibrous roots and deep enough to extend below the level of the lateral roots (see tables). If you have root pruned, this trench should be outside the root pruning trench.

Before starting to dig, remove loose soil above the roots. Make a circle around the plant about 12 inches beyond the anticipated diameter of the finished root ball. Cut the roots with a sharp spade, inserting the spade at the marked circle with the backside of the spade facing the plant. Be sure the spade is sharp so the cuts will heal rapidly. Next, dig a trench outside and adjacent to the marked circle.

Plants With Soil Attached: For trees to be moved with the soil attached, trim the ball to the proper size and shape with the spade, keeping the backside of the spade toward the plant. Round off the trimmed ball at the top and taper it inward toward the base. You can avoid loosening the soil around the roots by cutting large roots with hand or lopping shears and small roots with a sharp spade. Next, undercut the ball of soil at an angle of about 45 degrees to loosen the ball from the soil beneath and sever any remaining roots.

To prevent drying, cracking and crumbling of soil, wrap the ball tightly with burlap (balled-and-burlapped). Balls up to 15 inches in diameter can be completely covered with one piece of burlap. Tip the ball to the side and place a piece of rolled burlap under half of the ball. Then tip the ball in the opposite direction and pull the burlap under the other half. Pull the burlap up around the ball and tie diagonal corners together at the top. Secure loose burlap around the base of the trunk with twine, and support the ball by wrapping twine around and under the burlapped ball. You can also protect the root system by placing the soil ball in a pot (balled-and-potted) rather than burlapping.

Balls of soil are heavy and can be difficult to move. A ball of soil 15 inches in diameter and 15 inches deep may weigh 200 pounds or more. Lift a plant with a small ball of soil out of the hole by placing a piece of burlap under the ball and lifting by the four corners of the burlap. Consider hiring a professional arborist or landscape manager to move balls of soil weighing several hundred pounds. They are familiar with the procedures of moving such large balls.

Bareroot Plants: For bareroot transplanting, after digging the trench, wash the soil off the lateral roots with water. This minimizes root injury during soil removal. To provide some protection for roots, move the tree with “semi-bare” roots, leaving some soil clinging to the fibrous roots. This helps the tree recover more rapidly.

When the lateral roots are free of soil, tip the tree to one side to remove the soil under the plant. This should be done gradually to avoid straining or breaking the roots and loosening the bark near the base of the trunk. Cut any taproots or anchor roots that still hold at a depth of 9 to 19 inches. To lift the tree out of the hole, grasp it at the base of the trunk, close to the soil line.

Perhaps the single most important cause of failure with bareroot plants is that the roots dry out. Keep the roots moist in peat moss or wrapped in plastic or wet paper until you are ready to plant. Immediate re-planting is best.


It is important to prepare the hole properly depending on the method used to dig the plant up. Preparing a hole for a bareroot plant is different from preparing one for a plant with a root ball. Regardless of the type of plant, it is important to have the soil tested well beforehand. If the test indicates a need for phosphorous, add it to the planting hole. Do not add fertilizer containing nitrogen.

Bareroot: Dig the hole for a bareroot plant 50 percent wider than the root system so the roots can be fully expanded and arranged in their natural position. To prevent settling of the plant, leave the center of the bottom portion of the hole higher than the edges. The mound height is determined by placing the plant on the mound so that the marked soil line is an inch above the soil line of the planting hole. As the soil settles over time, the plant will settle so that it will come to rest with the previously marked soil line matching that of the new location. When digging, place the topsoil (the top 6-inch layer) in one pile and the subsoil in another.

Place the plant on the mound and spread the roots in the planting hole. Roots should not be crowded or twisted, or arranged in a circle against the wall of the hole or all in one direction. Roots that have been improperly arranged at planting can result in slow growth or even the death of a tree or shrub after a few years. Be sure that the root collar is no deeper than an inch below the soil surface. If plants are placed too deep, the roots will suffocate from a lack of oxygen.

While holding the tree in the proper position (at the center of the hole, at the proper depth and with the tagged side facing north) add subsoil to the hole, gently working it among the roots and firming with the fingers. After all the subsoil has been put in the hole, water with a half-gallon per square foot for well-drained soil (sandy) or 1 quart per square foot for poorly drained soil (clay). Once the water has drained (settling the soil and eliminating air pockets), add the topsoil. Tamp the soil lightly with your foot, but do not tamp so heavily as to compact the soil. Water again to settle the topsoil.

Balled-&-Burlapped or Balled-&-Potted: Dig a hole for balled plants 50 percent wider than the soil ball. The hole should be just deep enough that the root system is at the same depth it was before it was dug. When digging, place the topsoil (the top 6-inch layer) in one pile and the subsoil in another.Set the plant in the center of the hole (leave the burlap on the rootball if present). Cut any twine or wire supports, peel the burlap off the top and sides of the rootball and lay it in the bottom of the hole. Leave the burlap under the ball, but remove any wire supports (pulling the burlap out may injure plant roots). To fill the hole, add subsoil by gently working it around the soil ball and firming with the fingers. After all the subsoil has been put in the hole, water with a half gallon per square foot for well-drained soil (sandy) or 1 quart per square foot for poorly drained soil (clay). Once the water has drained (settling the soil and eliminating air pockets), add the topsoil. Tamp the soil lightly with your foot, but do not tamp so heavily as to compact the soil. Water again to settle the topsoil.

Watering After Planting

Many plants die from too little or too much water during the first few months after planting. Those in well-drained soil are likely to get too little water, while those in poorly drained soil get too much. The proper frequency and length of watering is rarely the same from one site to the next. Determine when and how much to water by becoming familiar with the characteristics of the planting site. Try to maintain constant moisture (not saturation) of the root ball.


Mulch helps conserve moisture in the soil, moderates temperature extremes and reduces weeds. Place 2 to 3 inches of mulch over the soil, pulling it away from the trunk of the plant.

Table 1. Root Ball Sizes for Deciduous Trees

Small Trees
Height (up to 6 feet) Minimum Diameter Ball Depth
2 feet 12 inches 9 inches
3 feet 14 inches 11 inches
4 feet 16 inches 12 inches
5 feet 18 inches 14 inches
Caliper (6 feet and over) Minimum Diameter Ball Depth
¾ inches 18 inches 14 inches
1 inch 20 inches 14 inches
1½ inches 22 inches 15 inches
1¾ inches 24 inches 16 inches
2 inches 28 inches 19 inches
Shade Trees
Caliper Minimum Diameter Ball Depth
½ inches 14 inches 11 inches
¾ inches 16 inches 12 inches
1 inch 18 inches 14 inches
1½ inches 22 inches 15 inches
1¾ inches 24 inches 16 inches
2 inches 28 inches 19 inches

Table 2. Root Ball Sizes for Deciduous Shrubs

Height Minimum Diameter Ball Depth
12 inches 9 inches 7 inches
18 inches 10 inches 8 inches
2 feet 12 inches 9 inches
3 feet 14 inches 11 inches
4 feet 16 inches 12 inches
5feet 18 inches 14 inches
6 feet 20 inches 14 inches
7 feet 22 inches 15 inches

Table 3. Root Ball Sizes for Evergreens

Spreading, Semi-Spreading & Globe (or Dwarf) Types (Broadleaf & Narrowleaf)
Spread Minimum Diameter Ball Depth
9 inches 8 inches 6 inches
12 inches 10 inches 8 inches
18 inches 12 inches 9 inches
2 feet 14 inches 11 inches
2½ feet 16 inches 12 inches
3 feet 18 inches 14 inches
3½ feet 21 inches 14 inches
4 feet 24 inches 16 inches
Cone & Upright Types (Broadleaf & Narrowleaf)
Spread Minimum Diameter Ball Depth
18 inches 12 inches 9 inches
2 feet 14 inches 11 inches
3 feet 16 inches 12 inches
4 feet 20 inches 14 inches
5 feet 22 inches 15 inches
6 feet 24 inches 16 inches
7 feet 27 inches 18 inches
Columnar Types (Narrowleaf)
Spread Minimum Diameter Ball Depth
12 inches 10 inches 8 inches
2 feet 13 inches 10 inches
3 feet 14 inches 11 inches
4 feet 16 inches 12 inches
5 feet 18 inches 14 inches

Para obtener la versión en español de esta hoja informativa, consulte HGIC 1055S, Trasplante y Establecimiento de Árboles y Arbustos.

Originally published 05/99

If this document didn’t answer your questions, please contact HGIC at [email protected] or 1-888-656-9988.


I have subscribed to the magazine "Science and Life" for more than 30 years. In response to your request to send interesting materials, I send my article "An easy way to transplant trees."

Science and life // Illustrations

View full size

My own experience served as the basis for writing it. Planting wild trees and shrubs near roads, plots or on the plots themselves is not yet very popular in Russia. In Western Europe and America, large and small cities are buried in greenery, and there are more evergreen trees than deciduous ones. The published literature contains almost no information on the transplantation of wild plants. Over the past 10 years, I have planted more than 500 fruit and wild trees and shrubs, all, with rare exceptions, have begun. Fruit planted on the site. Wild (of which 50% are evergreen, mostly coniferous up to 3 m or more) both on the site (near the house, shed, shed, paths, fences) and on the street (on the outside of the fence or across the road). Of course, without prejudice to the sunlight of vegetable and berry crops.

Our plot is located near Volokolamsk, in the collective garden partnership "Rainbow" of the Moscow Agricultural Academy. K. A. Timiryazev. I myself am an engineer, for 38 years I worked in the department of metrology of the Radio Engineering Institute of the Academy of Sciences, for the last 10 years as a chief metrologist. When planting trees, he first consulted with his neighbors - teachers and researchers of the academy. An engineer by profession, I could not help but show interest in the tree as a cybernetic device, knowledge about which, unfortunately, today is mainly limited to empirical experience. My point of view was fully supported by TSCA Associate Professor A. D. Koshansky.

V. Merkulov (Moscow).

It is known that the movement of nutrients - salt solutions - from the soil into the tree occurs due to osmotic pressure (pressure in plant cells, depending on the concentration of salts). Inside the tree, the concentration of salts is higher than in the soil. In accordance with the laws of chemistry, the movement of a liquid solution always occurs in the direction of a solution with a higher concentration, that is, from the roots to the top.

When a tree is transplanted from one place to another, the plant is dug out of the ground, transported and planted in a new place.

Digging inevitably loses some soil and roots. A stressed tree quickly consumes the accumulated nutrients, and the osmotic pressure inside it drops. The situation is aggravated by transportation, especially a long one. If by the time of planting in a new place the concentration of salts in the tree is less than the concentration of salts in the soil, it will not take root and will dry out.

It turns out that for a successful transplant, it is necessary to dig up a tree with a large clod of earth and less loss of roots. Transportation to a new location should be quick and, if possible, keeping the clod and roots moist, which is why it is recommended to place the seedling in a damp cloth, preferably cotton, such as burlap, so that the roots breathe.

When transplanting, it is desirable that the living conditions in the new place do not differ from the previous ones. For planting a tree, a hole is enough, equal in volume to a coma of earth. To preserve the acidity of the soil and create better conditions for osmotic pressure inside the tree, I do not put fertilizer, manure, leaves, grass, sawdust in the pit. Planting fertilizers, in particular chemical ones, can burn the tips of the roots damaged during digging, and leaves, grass, sawdust can destroy the tree with organic acids, because with a lack of oxygen in the pit, it will take years to decompose. For the same reason, it is undesirable to dig a wooden stake near a tree as a support; it is better to use a neutral plastic pole, and even better a metal one.

In the event that the soil at the planting site is less loose, for better breathing for the roots, I make a hole of a larger diameter, and I fill the space between the clod of earth and its edges with earth mixed with sand (approximately 40%). It is also necessary to mix the earth with sand when planting seedlings with bare roots. When transplanting fruit trees, I pour lime at the bottom of the pit and mix it with the ground at the rate of 70-100 g per 1 sq. m.

After planting, the tree first of all needs water in abundance, but without excess: one bucket at the time of planting and on average one bucket every 3 days for 1-1.5 months.

According to my observations, a tree or a shrub is more easily accepted when it is transplanted from a soil rich in nutrition to a soil less rich, with equal qualities. And it is much worse for a seedling when transplanted from soil poor in nutrients to rich.

Such a simple method of replanting trees and shrubs, primarily wild ones, up to 3 m high and more does not require much time and effort. In one hour, you can plant 5-6 or more trees, and at any time of the year, even in winter, but it is better in early spring, immediately after the snow melts. It is possible in the summer - preferably small trees with a large clod of earth. In autumn, plantings, however, take root worse, and so that they do not die, you have to regularly water them until frost. One of the necessary conditions for survival at any time of the year: the clod of earth of a tree should be as large as possible, such that it can be lifted, moved and transported.

In a new place, wild trees and shrubs take root quickly and require almost no maintenance. For better growth, I fertilize them, but not earlier than a year after planting, most often with water-soluble mineral fertilizers (20-30 g per 1 sq. M a year after planting, in subsequent years - 40-50 g per 1 sq. m).

In addition to nurseries, without damage to forests, wild trees for planting (with the knowledge of foresters) can be found under power lines, along highway and railway right-of-way, in quarries and other places where they are not needed and are most often destroyed.

What kind of forest trees can be planted on the site and how to transplant them correctly?

Content ✓

  • ✓ Forest trees in the garden
  • ✓ Birch
  • ✓ El
  • ✓ IVA
  • ✓ Ryabina
  • ✓ Lipa

I really want to be closer to nature and start the trees to participate in forest trees.

Which breeds are best suited?

Oleg Andreevich SHEVKO



Forest trees in the dacha are often the biggest "weeds". And sometimes the gardener does not understand that his plants are oppressed by nothing more than the roots of giants. Let's try to characterize the main forest plants and point out their positive and negative sides.

Plants such as birch, alder, hazel, maple, ash, poplar can provoke allergies. Spruce and pine in a dry hot summer are fire hazardous and their presence near the house is fraught with serious consequences. Juniper is an intermediate host for many fungal diseases of berry crops, and bird cherry attracts aphids.

Birches, spruces, pines have superficial roots, which sometimes even go outside. And, of course, they interfere with all landings. No artificially constructed barriers save from the roots. Suffice it to say that birch roots can crack the foundation of a house!

Garden and garden. We plant trees. Garden bookmark.

Watch this video on YouTube


This tree is undemanding to the soil and easily tolerates frost. However, the transplant does not like. In order for the tree to take root in a new place, choose young birches, no older than 5-7 years. The best time to plant is early spring, before the buds open.

However, birch is good and strong when young, and then its wood becomes brittle. It is these trees that most often break from hurricanes and damage summer cottages.

When planting birch trees on the site, remember that these plants are real water drinkers: in summer, an adult tree draws an average of 20 buckets of water from the soil per day. So it is best to place them away from the beds and flower beds.

For small gardens, choose low-rise species such as Karelian birch. Birches are especially well combined with mountain ash, willows, oaks, lindens, maples, beech, bird cherry, look great against the background of contrasting coniferous trees. But be prepared that something will fall from the birch all summer long, so you will have to clean the lawn and sweep the paths more often than usual.


These trees are excellent for creating dense and almost impenetrable hedges, and also serve as a windbreak, which is especially important for new, as yet "bare" sites. Single specimens are planted in the front parts of the garden, at the gate or recreation area. After all, the aroma of pine needles contains phytoncides that stimulate the nervous and cardiovascular systems and have a beneficial effect on the respiratory system. In addition, spruce lends itself well to pruning. But keep in mind that this must be done annually. Always remember that this evergreen centenarian can reach a height of 50m!

If you want to transplant spruce from the forest to the garden, then keep in mind: this tree prefers well-drained acidic, sandy and loamy soils. Does not tolerate stagnant water and prolonged drought. The planting hole needs good drainage. Spruce seedlings are very afraid of drying out of the roots: in the air they die in just 15-20 minutes. Therefore, when transporting a Christmas tree from a nearby forest, be sure to protect the roots from wind and sun by wrapping them in a damp cloth and immersing them in a bucket or box.

Pine has similar properties.

We also advise you to read: Choosing plants for a plot and a summer residence near a forest or in the forest itself


It is difficult to find a tree easier to plant than a willow. Her cuttings take root very well. It is enough to stick the chopped long shoots into the previously prepared loose earth - and soon you will get seedlings. But this should be done in early spring, before bud break.

Globular, weeping, silver - all these species will perfectly fit into the landscape of the garden: single trees will decorate paths or a pond, and weeping willows planted in 2 rows will create a shady alley. A spectacular solution: 2 willows, forming an openwork arch due to woven branches.

Shrub willows are good for creating hedges, they both shade and decorate a children's or sports ground at the same time. Dwarf varieties look very interesting in rockeries, especially if a stream flows nearby or a small fountain beats. However, a single willow on a wide lawn is also impressive, surrounded by flowering ornamental shrubs or in company with conifers, whose prickly beauty only benefits from such a contrast.


Willow grows fast but short-lived. An old tree has fragile wood, so such trees can be easily broken by the wind.


"Curly" was once considered a symbol of fertility, well-being and prosperity. The Slavs called it a sacred tree and were sure that lightning was hiding in the openwork crown. And this tree has always been loved for its durability and bright, but at the same time, as it were, shy beauty.

Unlike many trees, mountain ash does not lose its decorative effect even in late autumn and winter - due to crimson leaves and bright fruits. This tree is undemanding to the soil, but does not tolerate waterlogging and waterlogging. It is best to plant it in the sun or in some shade. Rowan goes well with pines, spruces, firs and many hardwoods.

It looks especially good against the background of lindens and ash trees, black poplar or white willow. Rowan is also used for compositions with deciduous shrubs, such as spirea, barberry, wild rose, honeysuckle. In group plantings, it is placed both in the foreground and in the background, used in hedges. Rowan serves as an excellent backdrop for many herbaceous perennials.

Rowan is planted either from mid-September to early October, or in early spring, as this tree begins to grow rather quickly.

How to transplant a small pine tree into your garden

Watch this video on YouTube


There is one tree that can be considered ideal for a garden plot - this is linden. In terms of shade tolerance, it is second only to fir, spruce, beech and hornbeam. Thanks to these properties, linden easily takes root under the canopy of other species or under the "cover" of the house. It grows well in moderately rich soils with good drainage.

An ideal planting method proven by history is a linden alley. However, single trees can decorate the site. In addition, linden has a unique property: it can be cut, shaped, bent at any age. Even under Peter I, hedges, arches, green arbors, balls, pyramids and other garden forms were made from linden. It perfectly withstands pruning, shortening, it has soft roots that you “do not notice” when digging. It is subject to rejuvenation at any age, when the old trunk is removed under the root, and the shoots that grow from below form new trunks. The wide leaves of the linden create foliage that is impenetrable to the eye, which is why this tree is convenient to use for barriers of any height.

Linden is one of the best soil-improving species. The leaves of the tree contain a large amount of calcium, potassium, nitrogen and sulfur, due to which, when they decompose, the physico-chemical properties of the soil improve and its fertility increases.


Don't expect that young sticky will delight you with the honey aroma of flowers the next year after planting: flowering will begin, alas, no earlier than 10 years of age. At the same time, the alley, planted from 1-2-meter trees, will also acquire a beautiful view.

Linden goes well with oak, mountain ash, maple, ash, and from horticultural crops - with pear, apple, strawberries, raspberries, cherries, plums, grapes. The only drawback of this plant is its size, because an adult tree occupies a large area.

Both flax and chestnut can also be considered plants that successfully combine with fruit crops, they are just as well managed in pruning as linden, so they are quite appropriate on the site.

Learn more