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COMMON QUESTIONS

What is transplanting?
Transplant means to move a tree from one growing location to another growing location.

What is the difference between “on site” and “over the road” transplants?
On site means moving a tree from the front yard to the back yard on the same property. Over the road means moving a tree from your old house to your new house, which is now 15 miles away. We move trees throughout the entire state of Ohio and surrounding states.

What is caliper?
Caliper is the measurement of the tree trunk diameter. This is measured about 6 inches from the ground level. Using a ruler hold it against the trunk and measure the distance from edge to edge.

When can trees be transplanted?
Trees can be planted or transplanted most anytime during the year, provided certain criteria have been met. These include the size of the tree trunk or caliper, rootball size, root stimulant applications, and follow up care of the tree.

We can successfully plant trees up to 7-8” caliper even during summer using our large tree spades that will dig a hole approximately 7 1/2’ wide and 5’ deep. A rootball of this size is critical for these trees as some can measure up to 30'-40’ tall.

What is a tree spade?
A tree spade is a mechanical device used to dig and transplant trees. They range in sizes from digging a 32” to 90” diameter rootball. They are mounted on small Bobcat loaders to large trucks the size of cement mixers.

Can you move a tree close to my house?
Depending on the size of the tree and the surrounding area will determine how we can move it. If the tree trunk is closer than 4-5’ from the foundation we would have to dig the tree by hand and lift it out with a crane truck. This is more labor intensive and stressful on the tree because you cannot get as large of a rootball as may be needed to transplant the tree successfully due to the site restrictions.

How do you help the tree get started in a new location?
After planting the tree, we will then stake the tree to help it stay straight and put mulch around the base of the rootball. This will help keep weeds away and moisture in. We have applied an application of a root stimulant to the tree while in our nursery, but always suggest another after it is permanently planted. This helps increase root development and re-establishment and helps lessen transplant shock.

When should I remove the stakes from my tree?
The stakes and wires can be removed anytime from 6 months to 1 year after planting. Keeping them on longer may cause harm to the tree by girdling or choking the trunk unless the guards around the trunk have been adjusted. The tree will continue to grow around the wire, which weakens the trunk and may then break off easily during a storm.

What are root stimulants?
This is an organic product consisting of Kelp, peat humus, vitamin complex, and plant coenzymes. These help promote three things: 1) Greater root growth and depth. 2) Improved stress tolerance to frost, heat, drought, and salt. 3) Gives color without flushing out top growth

What type of care does my tree need after the transplant?
There are four primary areas of care for maintaining your tree.

  1. You want to promote health and stimulate growth of the tree. Plants need food for growing strong. Root stimulant treatments help encourage new root growth and help reduce stress of the tree. Feeding with a high nitrogen based fertilizer is not advised for the first three to four months, as the fertilizer may cause injury to the tender roots.
  2. You will need to control weeds around the base of the tree. The mulch applied will help in keeping weeds and grass from the base of the tree to reduce the risk of injury from mowers and weed trimmers. You can add new mulch the following year, but no more than 2”-3” deep.
  3. Watering. Plants need water to survive, but too much water can also kill them. How much water depends on the size of the tree planted. Watering needs for a 2” tree are not as great as a 6” tree would need. It is suggested to water slowly to a depth of 4 to 6”. Keep in mind when trees have shredded bark mulch covering the roots, it tends to help hold the moisture in the soil longer then if the ground was bare, exposed soil. The best way to check for watering is to stick your fingers into the soil 3” to 5", to feel for moisture. Time must be left for the soil around the roots to dry out somewhat before watering again.
  4. You will have to remove or adjust any and all staking and wire after 6 months to l year to prevent girdling the tree.

What should I watch for after my tree has been planted?

  1. Watch for drooping leaves which may indicate too much or too little water
  2. The tree may have settled in the hole causing it to lean a little
  3. Some leaves may fall due to transplant shock
If you notice any of these symptoms, call us and we will be out to check your tree

What can I do to encourage the growth or add additional nutrients?
Big Trees,Inc. has a complete plant health care service available for the home landscape. Call our office for a free analysis on your landscapes needs.

What will be done to minimize the “shock” to the tree when transplanting in hot weather?
We spray the tree and leaves with an antidessicant which helps hold moisture in the leaves. Depending on the size of the tree, you can reduce the ‘leaf to root’ ratio by selective pruning of branches.

What will be done to minimize the damage to underground gas lines and utilities?

  1. Big Trees will contact O.U.P.S to have all utilities located which are buried within the road right-of-way. Utilities that service the actual residence may have to be privately located and a separate fee paid.
  2. In areas that are marked where you want the tree planted, Big Trees personnel will hand-dig to expose the line before we dig with the treespade.
  3. Underground “private” electric, gas, cable TV, phone, irrigation lines, septic lines, storm sewers, and sanitary sewers are the responsibility of the homeowners.

What about wet weather conditions?
In some instances, weather conditions will cause the delay of the tree move — mainly excessively wet conditions. Big Trees reserves the right to suspend operations until the ground is firm enough to access with our treespades. Please picture our treespade as the size of a cement truck trying to move through your yard after we have had 3-4 days of rain. We will always try to minimize any damage to your property. In other cases, the ground can get too dry to be properly dug into. In these situations, additional watering may be needed prior to the transplant process.