How Do You Move a Tree?

To move a tree, prune the roots, dig a hole in the new location, dig up the tree, move the tree and fill in the hole. Add mulch around the base of the tree, stake the tree in place and water the tree regularly.

Moving a mature tree can be difficult, but it is possible in many cases. To move a tree, run through the following steps.

  1. Prune the roots
  2. Prune the roots in the growing season before the move. To prune roots, water the soil and wait 24 hours before working. Mark out the pruning area beforehand, leaving at least 10 inches of root diameter per inch of trunk diameter. Cut a trench along the pruning area. Cut back roots while digging the trench deeper and fill in the soil.

  3. Dig a hole in the new space
  4. Before moving the tree, dig a hole in its new spot. Test the soil beforehand to ensure that the conditions are appropriate for the tree type.

  5. Dig out the tree
  6. Soften the soil by watering it 24 hours before the move. To dig out the tree, dig up the topsoil first and then mark out an area around six inches from the original pruning area. Dig outside the circle, working away from the tree. Clip out roots as they appear. When the area around the tree is cleared, dig under the tree.

  7. Move the tree
  8. Move the tree to its new home by lifting underneath the tree. Fill in the dirt around the tree immediately and water the soil to keep the roots from drying.

  9. Add mulch
  10. Add mulch to the base of the tree to keep the soil moist.

  11. Stake the tree
  12. Stake the tree to keep it stable as it adjusts to its new spot.

  13. Water regularly
  14. Keep the soil moist to promote growth. Do not overwater, as soggy soil can cause roots to rot.