How to transplant a wild cedar tree

How to Transplant a Cedar Tree | Home Guides

By SF Gate Contributor Updated September 24, 2021

The cedar tree (Cedrus spp.) is a large majestic evergreen that does best in zones 7 to 9. It can grow 80 feet high or higher with a 20 to 40 foot spread, so it may need to be moved if it appears to be outgrowing its current location. It is best to transplant cedars while they are dormant in the early spring or late fall. This will reduce the stress on the tree and increase its odds of survival.

  1. 1.

    Select a location that receives full sun with deep, well drained soil. Once established, cedars have deep roots, says North Carolina Extension Gardener, so do not plant near sewer pipes or buried cables. Also make sure there is nothing overhead that your tree can grow into as it matures.

  2. 2.

    Dig a hole that is twice as wide as the root ball of the tree. When you are transplanting a small sapling, this could be a few inches; if you have a more mature tree, this could be a couple of feet. The depth of the hole should allow the tree to be planted at the same depth as it is currently. Planting it deeper stress the tree.

  3. 3.

    Insert the blade of the shovel straight down in a circle under the drip line of the tree – the area where the branches extent to when spread out – to sever the roots and create a large enough root ball. Try to dig about a foot wider than the root ball.

  4. 4.

    Dig the trench about 2 feet deep, severing any roots that extend farther than where you are digging the hole. Carefully undercut around the tree, freeing as much of the root ball as possible. As the root ball is exposed, wrap it in burlap and twine to protect it and hold it together.

  5. 5.

    Dig and prune roots until the entire root ball is free. When you did not wrap it in burlap, laying the tree on a tarp keeps it in tact and allows you to drag it to the new location more easily.

  6. 6.

    Move your cedar tree to the new hole you have already dug. Unwrap the root ball from the burlap, if you used it, and stand the tree up in the hole as straight as possible, making sure it sits no deeper than it was originally planted.

  7. 7.

    Start filling the hole with the soil you dug out previously, tamping it down as you fill the hole. This eliminates air pockets that can cause your tree to shift.

  8. 8.

    Water your transplanted cedar well to help it settle into its new home.

  9. 9.

    Add a 3-inch layer of mulch around your tree, says the University of Minnesota Extension, but make sure you keep it a few inches away from the trunk of the cedar.

    Things You Will Need
    • Shovel

    • Burlap or tarp

    • Twine

    • Mulch


    Keep in mind, if you are trying to transplant a large, mature tree, it safer for you and the tree if you hire a professional to do the job. You can tie the branches together loosely with twine to make it easier to manage. Another way to calculate the width of the hole is to figure the size of the root ball, which is approximately 20 times the diameter of the trunk of the tree.


    Avoid loosening the soil at the bottom of the hole. Doing so causes air pockets and can result in the tree settling too deep in the hole.


  • University of Minnesota Extension: Planting and Transplanting Trees and Shrubs
  • North Carolina Extension Gardener: Cedrus atlantica


  • Keep in mind, if you are trying to transplant a large, mature tree, it safer for you and the tree if you hire a professional to do the job.
  • You can tie the branches together loosely with twine to make it easier to manage.
  • Another way to calculate the width of the hole is to figure the size of the root ball, which is approximately 20 times the diameter of the trunk of the tree.


  • Avoid loosening the soil at the bottom of the hole. Doing so causes air pockets and can result in the tree settling too deep in the hole.

Tree Transplanting: How To Move A Tree

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When it comes to figuring out how to move a tree, your search will often lead you to a professional tree transplanting service. Tree transplanting is the process of moving a tree from one location to another. Moving a tree is not an easy task, and puts stress on your tree. When performing a tree transplanting job, implementing the proper process will determine whether or not the tree move will be successful. This is why the success rate for moving a tree is better when hiring a tree transplanting service.

Some common reasons for homeowners to want/need a tree transplanting service are:

  1. Home additions or hardscaping projects that require a plant to be moved
  2. A homeowner is moving and would like to take a tree with them
  3. The plant or tree has outgrown its current spot

If a transplant is not done properly, the tree can die from improper removal or installation. A successful tree transplanting job involves many detailed and important moving parts.

  • Root pruning will be required in the season prior to transplanting.
  • The tree will need to be dug up correctly.
  • A new hole will need to be dug prior to digging out the tree (once the tree or plant is dug up – the longer the roots go without a home, the lower the chances of a successful transplant).
  • Consider the best time of year for transplanting (for most trees, fall, late winter, or early spring is the best time).
  • Leave enough root ball diameter (generally 10-12 inches of root ball diameter for every inch of trunk diameter).
  • Planting the root ball at the proper depth.
  • Proper machinery to move the root ball (can weigh about 100 lbs per square foot).
  • The plant or tree is receiving the same amount of sunlight daily as it was previously (or more or less if the old spot was not conducive).

In addition to making sure the tree transplanting process is completed correctly, once it is done, a proper and regimented health care plan, after transplant, is key in determining its overall success.

Caring for a tree after transplant:

  • Watering regularly (roots moist but not soggy). Many factors can contribute to determining the best watering plan for your new tree, and because of this, there is no “one size fits all method”. However, if there is no natural rainfall, plan to perform deep watering every 12-14 days.
  • Consider adding a 2 to 3-inch layer of mulch (no deeper) around the base of the new transplant to maintain moisture.
  • Do not fertilize a newly transplanted tree until it has been planted for at least a year. Fertilization stimulates new growth and could add more stress to the tree.

Tree transplanting is stressful for a tree, so making sure it is up to the task first is extremely important.

  • Is it free from pests and disease?
  • If the problem is the environment, will it survive the new location?
  • Are soil conditions on your property ideal for this type of tree?


  • Do not plant a tree deeper than it was planted previously.
  • Call 811 before excavation to check for underground utilities. 
  • Perform a soil test prior to tree transplanting to make sure the new soil is suitable for the tree.

Trees that are not ideal for tree transplanting –

  • Trees with long vertical tap roots
  • Trees that grow in sandy soils
  • Moving native trees from wooded areas to lawn
  • Conifers don’t often transplant as well as deciduous
  • Trees do not transplant as well as shrubs

Since tree transplanting is a very intricate process that, not only requires particular attention to detail during the transplanting process, but also a very regimented care plan after, it may be best to consider a tree replacement instead. If a tree is really important to you and/or you are not ready to part with it, your tree transplanting project should be completed by a professional. DIYing a tree transplant may end in you losing your favorite tree.

If you are considering tree transplanting services on your property, call the professional Arborists at Red Cedar to help formulate the best plan of action. If it is determined that the tree can be transplanted successfully, we can help complete this task. However, if it is determined in our professional opinion, that the particular tree may not successfully survive the tree transplanting process, we can suggest an alternate plan. When dealing with complex tree work like transplanting, it is best to consult with a professional to ensure the project is done correctly! Contact Red Cedar today for your free tree consultation, and let us help establish the best course of action for your tree! 

Transplanting cedar to a new place: tips and videos


  • General information
  • Planting seedlings

Cedar is a coniferous evergreen tree of the Pine family. In the wild, it grows in the Mediterranean countries, in the western regions of the Himalayas, in Siberia, the Crimea, and the Far East.

General information

Cedar is quite an ornamental tree that can live for 500 years and grow up to 50 meters in height. In addition to decorative properties, the tree is valued for tasty and healthy nuts, which are used both in medicine and in cooking.

Cedar sprout.

Therefore, cedar is actively grown both in forestry farms for planting in the wild, and in household plots.

Cedar - a monoecious tree with a spreading, lush crown, dark gray bark, needle-like needles. The needles of the cedar are prickly and hard, silver-gray, dark green or blue-green.

Cedar cones - erect, cylindrical, or oval-elongated, ripen in the second or third year, edible seeds. Cedar blossoms in autumn.

Planting seedlings

Seedlings for planting cedar can be purchased from a nursery or forestry with a special permit. The best quality are seedlings growing in a sunny place. Under the influence of the sun, they turn out to be strong and dense, and after transplanting to a new place, they will easily get used to the bright rays of the sun.

Before digging up a cedar seedling, a ribbon is tied to one of the branches in order to plant the cedar, correctly orienting it to the cardinal points. The south side and the new location should face south.

Cedar does not grow quickly, a one-year-old seedling grows up to 4-5 cm, while its roots reach 20 cm. For planting, it is better to buy a cedar seedling at the age of 2-5 years with a well-developed root system and a strong trunk.

A potted seedling purchased in autumn or winter can be kept on a balcony, in an unheated room, and even outdoors.

A seedling bought in spring or summer is left outside in the shade before transplanting, properly oriented to the cardinal points. In warm and hot weather, its crown must be sprayed frequently with a spray bottle. There should always be a container of water next to the seedling to maintain the desired level of humidity.

If a seedling is taken from a forestry, where it grows in the open air, they begin to dig it in at a distance of 30-40 cm from the trunk, and gradually deepen the hole. This operation can be done with your hands, not with a shovel, so as not to damage the roots.

The central root is completely released, the side roots can be slightly cut off. It will be correct to dig up a seedling along with an earthen root, moisten it, and immediately put it in a plastic bag. The bag is tied up so that the earth does not spill out.

At the same time, cedar needles are collected in a separate bag, which will be useful for fertilizing and mulching the hole. The seedling is brought home, and immediately transplanted to a new place.

To get seeds from cedar, it is better to take seedlings from different places, the fact is that this is a cross-pollinated plant, and high-quality nuts will be obtained only when it is possible to avoid inbreeding.

On the plot, cedars are planted in groups of at least 3-4 trees. The distance between them should be 5-8 meters - these openings can be filled with shrubs - irga, honeysuckle, raspberries. It is impossible to plant a cedar mixed with deciduous trees, they will interfere with each other. If you sow lupine next to cedars, it will saturate the soil with nitrogen, which is necessary for good growth and fruiting of cedars.

Cedar loves light, water-permeable soil, and does not tolerate stagnant moisture, it grows well on soil poor in lime. So, Himalayan cedar can get sick with chlorosis and die on dry calcareous soil. On calcareous soil, the Lebanese and Atlas cedars do not grow well and develop poorly.

Place for planting cedar should be open, well lit and well ventilated. The tree needs fertile soil, poor soil will not be able to “nourish” the tree to its natural size. Dislikes cedar and polluted air. In a garden or summer cottage, cedar is planted at a distance of about 5 meters from buildings, and at least 8 meters from gooseberries and currants. If the site is damp, the cedar can be planted on an artificial hill about 1 meter high and 3 meters in diameter.

When can cedar be transplanted? Cedar seedlings can be transplanted from early spring to early May, and in autumn - in September-October, so that the plant has time to take root before the first frost.

The size of the hole for planting cedar seedlings depends on the length of the central root and the diameter of the root system. When the hole is dug, its bottom must be loosened with a shovel on the floor of the bayonet, and a little ash, humus, needles, peat, and the top fertile soil layer should be poured into it. This mixture should cover about a third of the depth of the hole. The components can be mixed in advance, poured out and poured with water.

The seedling is placed on the wet mixture and covered with soil so that the root collar is flush with the ground. At the same time, the earth is compacted with feet or a shovel.

At the end of planting, 1-2 more buckets of water are poured into the hole, the soil is topped up if it has subsided, and mulched with needles, peat or humus. Care of seedlings consists in constant watering so that the soil is always wet, and fertilizing with mineral fertilizers. In the spring, organic fertilizers are needed. The first two years after planting, water and fertilizers are applied to the soil along the perimeter of the crown.

If the seedling was purchased with a pot, it can be watered before transplanting and carefully removed from the pot. It is planted in a hole along with a clod of earth in the same way as a seedling that grew in open ground.

When planting in a hole, you can bury a peg to which the seedling is tied for stability. A seedling grown in greenhouse conditions for the first time must be sheltered from the direct rays of the sun, enclosing it with a wooden grate.

A well established seedling will have dark green needles and will grow 10-15 cm in a year.

A layer of mulch must be constantly added so that adventitious roots develop well in the cedar, because the mulch will retain moisture well. This is especially important if the cedar is planted on sandy loamy soil. On clay soil, mulch will prevent squeezing out of its root system in winter.

Do not dig the soil under the trees - this way you can damage the roots, you can only slightly loosen its top layer. Side branches cannot be removed, the more branches and needles, the better and faster it will grow.

Cedar is resistant to diseases and pests, but may be susceptible to small sucking insects - Hermes. If you notice small cotton balls on the needles, wash them off with water and treat with Actellik.

Growing cedar from nuts at home, planting cedar from seeds, how to transplant cedar


  • How to grow cedar from nut at home
    • Features of growing cedar from seed 9005 Where to get the necessary composition at home 9005
    • Preparation and stratification of seeds (nuts) of pine
    • Requirements for preparation for germination
  • Care of young plantings
    • On what soils on what soils are
    • The temperature regime
    • Watering mode
  • Features of the Kedr tree
  • How to transplant cedar
  • Care for young trees of cedar
    • Tanner for growing
    • Crohnas 9000
    • Formation 9000
  • Is cedar a coniferous or deciduous tree?
    • Botanical description of the cedar tree0006

The majestic cedar will decorate any site. This plant is a symbol of longevity and health. Cedar has a lot of useful medicinal properties. Therefore, many people want to know how to grow a cedar from a nut at home.

How to grow a cedar from a nut at home

Growing a cedar pine is not so easy, and in the prime of life this tree will be seen not even by children, but by the gardener's grandchildren. Nuts will have to wait 40 years. At the same time, the process of growing cedar from seeds is an exciting activity. And it is also useful, because due to the value of cedar wood (especially Siberian), there are less and less of them in the wild. Therefore, any planted tree, even in the garden, is already a value.

Cedar of Lebanon

Features of growing cedar from seeds at home

In nature, the majestic tree reproduces in only one way - by seeds. But at home, two methods are used - grafting a cutting on an ordinary pine or sowing nuts.

Germination from seed is less labor intensive than cuttings. But grafting a cutting will allow you to preserve varietal characteristics. But when grown from seed, they will be completely lost.

So, how to grow a cedar from a nut at home? It all starts with the selection of seed material.

Pine nuts

Where to get the necessary seed compound

It is now easy to buy cedar pine planting material in specialized stores. It can be both already shelled nuts and whole cones. Nuts in cones ripen in no less than two years.

Please note! For seed material, you can contact the botanical garden or forestry.

You can collect the cones yourself, so you can be sure that the nuts are still germinating. At the same time, these rules are observed.

The buds must be well matured and fall off the tree on their own. The best time to gather in the forest is autumn or spring. But most experts agree that the best time to collect is the beginning of November (or the end of October).

The seeds are then shaken out of the cone. If it has not opened yet, and the nuts do not fall out, then you just need to put the cone in a warm room. After a while, the scales will rise and the nuts will fall out.

Cedar cone

Important! Buying a bag of unshelled pine nuts in a supermarket and trying to sow them is a hopeless business, as the cones are often warmed up to make it easier to get nuts. When exposed to high temperatures, the seeds lose their germination.

Preparation and stratification of cedar seeds (nuts)

It is not enough just to throw a cedar seed into the ground and wait for it to germinate. How to germinate pine nuts at home? To be more or less confident in the result, you need to properly prepare the seed material for planting.

Such preparation includes:

  • selection of planting material;
  • soaking;
  • decontamination;
  • stratification.

Requirements for preparation for germination

The step-by-step algorithm for preparing cedar nuts for planting is as follows.

Soaking of planting material

  1. The largest nuts are selected for cultivation, without any damage and signs of mold. There should not be any foreign smell. Seeds retain good germination for a year from the moment of collection.
  2. Nuts are soaked in warm water for 3 days. Water needs to be changed daily. You can add a stimulant to it, for example, root.
  3. Next, you need to treat the seed material with a weak solution of potassium permanganate (0.5%, slightly pinkish).
  4. Sprouting nuts is most effective in wet sand. Sand and seeds are mixed, poured into a bag of cotton fabric. The bag is placed in a wooden box with holes and placed in the refrigerator in the compartment where the temperature is about 3 °C. Seeds are stored in the cold until spring. Some nuts can even sprout in the sand.

Important! Seeds are reviewed regularly and moldy seeds are discarded along with moldy sand. The sand itself is moistened as it dries.

Caring for young plantings

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Young cedars have special requirements for soil types, temperature and watering frequency.

What soils does

grow on? Young cedar trees are planted either in a special soil for coniferous plants, or in a mixture of peat, sand and garden soil. When using any substrate option, additional fertilizing with humus or mineral fertilizers "Bona Forte", fertik or agricola will be required. Nutrient levels don't have to be high, just medium or even low.

Siberian cedar

Prepared seedlings are best transplanted into sandy or loamy soils with a low nitrogen content. The more of this element in the soil, the slower the cedar root system will develop. Gray podzolic soils are especially loved by cedars, most often found in Siberia, the Far East and northern Europe. But the central zone of Russia is also not bad for growing these trees.

The soil at the planting site should be loose and well drained. Stagnation of water in the area for planting cedar pine is not allowed. On wetlands and heavy clay soils, cedar does not grow.

Please note! Preference is given to slightly acidic or neutral soils.


To germinate planted cedar nuts, the optimum temperature is 20 °C. When shoots appear, it is necessary to illuminate with a special lamp, which at the same time slightly increases the temperature of the soil surface.


Watering mode

The soil with planted seeds is not watered from a watering can, but moistened with a spray gun. This makes it easier to maintain the required level of moisture to prevent rotting. In addition, with this method of irrigation, maximum nutrients are retained in the soil, they are not washed out.

Important! Spray the soil with water as it dries, but not less than every other day.

Peculiarities of the cedar tree

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Cedar tree will decorate any garden due to its peculiarities. After all, it has beautiful rich green needles, an interesting pattern of bright bark, and a slender trunk.

A pleasant smell emanates from cedars. The air around it is truly healing, it has a strong antimicrobial effect, relieves stress and fatigue. The cedar groves are favorable for people with respiratory and skin diseases.

Cedar grove

How to replant cedar

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In spring, a bag of seeds is removed from the refrigerator and planted in a substrate consisting of soddy soil, sand and peat. Planting depth is not more than 1 cm.

Please note! The sharp tip of the nut should point down.

Germination requires a temperature of about 20 °C and a shaded area. In a month, the seeds should germinate. Sprouts appear from no more than a third of the nuts.

After that, another question arises: "How to transplant a cedar and take care of it properly?".

Caring for young cedar trees

Caring for cedar seedlings consists in choosing the right pot, as well as proper watering and fertilizing.


Growing container

The pot is selected so that later it is easy to remove the seedling for transplanting into open ground.

Please note! In open ground, cedar is planted when it reaches 3 years of age. Often this plant cannot be transplanted. Therefore, the container is selected so that the roots of the tree are not cramped. In three years, the cedar will grow to about 30 cm, and a pot is chosen from this calculation.

Rules for transplanting and watering

Cedar sprouts should not be in direct sunlight, partial shade is better for them.

In order for the cedar to get used to the conditions of the street, in summer pots with seedlings are placed in the yard in partial shade. They will stay there until frost. When cold weather sets in, containers with cedars are brought into the house or placed in a greenhouse.

When the cedar grows up to 3 years old, it needs to be transplanted into open ground. Transplantation is carried out only in the spring.

Important! You can plant cedar only where there is no groundwater close to the surface.

Crown formation

Garden forms are recommended for home gardens, assuming that the tree will be shorter, spreading, with a dense crown. This form consists of several vertices. To do this, at a height of 2-2.5 m from the ground, you need to cut the lower branches flush with the trunk. The duration of such pruning is not less than 10 years.

Formed cedar tree

Is cedar a coniferous or deciduous tree?

To determine exactly whether cedar is a coniferous or deciduous tree, you need to study its description.

Botanical description of the cedar tree

Cedar is an evergreen monoecious plant. It has a spreading crown and a straight trunk. Grows up to 50 m tall.

There are Lebanese, Korean, Siberian, Himalayan and Atlas cedars, as well as European cedar pine.

Signs by which cedar is classified as a coniferous tree

The answer to the question: “Cedar is a deciduous or coniferous tree” is positive, because: