In this video, This Old House landscape contractor Roger Cook uses muscles and machines to safely move trees to new locations.
- Tie a yellow ribbon on branch to indicate the "face" or best-looking side of tree.
- To gain access to the base of the tree, tie branches tight to the trunk with twine.
- Measure from the ground 12 inches up on the tree trunk, then measure the diameter of the trunk at that height. For each inch of trunk diameter you must dig a trench 1 foot wide around the tree. So, for a 5-inch-diameter trunk, you must dig a 5-foot-diameter trench.
- Dig the circular trench around the tree with a pointed shovel and spade fork. Continue excavating until you've exposed the entire root ball.
- For bare-root transplanting, use a compressed-air excavation tool to blast the dirt from the roots.
- After digging around the tree, wrap the root ball in burlap. Secure burlap pieces together with crimping tool and metal clips.
- Tie the burlap tight to the root ball with jute string.
- Use a forklift to move balled tree to its new location.
- Back fill around the newly transplanted tree with a mixture of compost, sand and topsoil.
- Sprinkle starter fertilizer around the base of the tree, then lightly rake it into the soil.
- Water transplanted trees twice a week throughout the summer.