How to move a plant – transplanting technique

Key Hint:-
Best success occurs when tree is prepared two months prior to the move.


Prepare the new site
1. Prepare the new home by ensuring good access into the area.
2. Ensure soil is well drained.
3. Do not put chemical fertilizers into the prepared soil.
4. Make sure hole and site is big enough to receive new plant.

Prepare the plant
1. Ensure plant is free from pests and diseases. Treat if necessary.
2. Prune any weak, damaged or wayward branches.
3. Prune approx 1/3 foliage area off tree. Make sure tools are clean and that cuts are smooth.
4. Cut roots about 2-3 weeks prior to actual move to allow plant to adjust. Cut a circle around the tree large enough to encompass a good root mass.
5. Give the soil a good drench of water and ‘Seasol’.

The Move
1. Water the tree well two days prior to the removal.
2. Dig under the root ball and cut roots with a sharp pruning saw.
3. Burlap (wrap up with hessian) the roots to secure the soil and roots together.
4. Lift the tree and roots into a wheel barrow and move/transport to new location. If the tree is large, employ the services of a commercial tree transplanter.
5. Tie up branch and wrap up if the plant is to be transported as this will help reduce transpiration and shock.
6. Keep roots and leaves moist during transport period.

Placing into New Location
1. Plant ASAP in a new hole and back fill with good quality soil.
2. Support the tree with ropes and ties if location is subject to breezes or wind.
3. Water in with ‘Seasol’ to help plant overcome transplant shock.

After care
Keep an eye on pests and diseases.
Ensure soil is kept moist – not too wet or dry.
Look out for fresh foliage growth.
Apply a light application of fertiliser.
If secure, remove ropes and ties after about 6 months.


Old Wives Tales – Myth or Truth – you decide.
Directional preferences
It is believed by some professionals that because the earth has a magnetic current, that trees become accustomed to these magnetic directions. Consequently many people believe that the plant should be relocated in a new site with the same orientation. Ie the same branches facing north.

To Seal or not to Seal
Traditionally arborist would cut a limb off a tree then cover it with a sealant, believing that is helps the plant re-establish a ‘skin’ or seal.
Current philosophy is that the plant naturally seals wounds by a process called ‘compartmentalisation’ and therefore no sealant is required.

Spring is best time to transplant
Actually for deciduous trees the best time to transplant is winter. However if you need to move a tree in summer, then take extra precautions.
For most other evergreen trees, summer or autumn seem best as it allows the tree to adjust and establish in the new location before the winter.
Remember the old saying – ‘……after flowering’
When in doubt consult a professional Horticulturist or Arborist.



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