Did you know moving trees by spade increases the chances of survival by over 50% compared to burlapped or bagged trees? When you move a tree by spading, you minimize the distrubtion of the roots in the soil, which keeps the roots moist, and strong. Compared to balled and burlapped trees which jostle, shake and dehydrate rootballs.
Regardless of how you move your tree, here are some tips to ensure your investment lasts.
Water – Water – Water!
One of the biggest keys to tree transplanting prep and long term care is hydration. There are several reasons to make sure your tree stays hydrated:
- When the soil surrounding the rootball stays moist, it blends with the native dirt surrounding the tree. This helps ensure that the tree and rootball compact into the ground, and blend with the native dirt. This removes air and prevents the tree from tipping over
- The tree will be healing from cut roots. Providing additional water aids in it’s healing and softens the soil for roots to grow more easily
- With shorter roots, hydrating other roots will ensure the tree is able to absorb as much water as it needs.
In post tree care, make sure to utilize a sprinkler or shower style sprayer to saturate the ground. You want water to seep into the dirt, not run off and cause a flood. To further avoid run off, you’ll want to water on a regular schedule in 10-20 minute increments.
While there is no magic formula, we recommend the following minimums to ensure yoru tree is adequately watered.
First 2 weeks – Water 2-4 times a day
Weeks 2-6 – Watering once a day
Week 7 to 12 – Water once a week
While watering after week 12 can be sporadic, watering your tree on a regular basis will ensure the greatest health going forward.
Further, use your best judgement. If a tree appears to be drying out, wilting, or turning brown, increase watering. You may want to consider spraying the leaves of the tree as well to help keep it cool on hot summer days.
Be sure to keep an eye on the top of the tree as well. Since it is furthest from the roots, it is the last to receive water and will be the first indication more is needed.
Other Tree Care Tips
In most cases, trees need at least three years to establish themselves in the new area after being spaded in. To facilitate this care, make sure to water the tree occasionally through year 3. You may also want to consider installing a drip line around the tree to make sure it regularly receives water.
Do not put more soil around the base of the tree or around the trunk. Putting soil around the trunk of the tree can constrict its breather and suffocate the tree.
Utlize mulch around the base of your tree. Mulch, or wood chips help keep the soil moist even through the hottest summers. Further, mulching is also a great way to prevent weeds or other vegitation from growing around the tree, stealing it’s resources. Be careful not to surround the trunk with the wet wood chips though, as that can lead to tree rot, and kill your tree. Be sure to leave several inches around the trunk exposed.
Consider utilizing tree and shrub food or a rooting stimulator to further help the tree recover from the move.
If the tree still does not appear to thrive, be sure to call a local tree service company to take a closer look.