Licensed & Insured ISA Certified Arborists (PN-8224A)
Portland, Oregon
18 Dec 2018

So You Want to Move Your Tree: Now What?

Many people think that moving trees or shrubs is an easy task to do – and in some cases, they are right. With smaller trees, shrubs, or other plants, it is quite easy to move them from one home to another. However, it gets more complicated when you look at different types of trees and the steps that you need to take to move them.

Trees are larger – much larger than we think when we simply look at them from the trunk on up. Underneath the ground, there is a complex root system that will often go much deeper into the ground than the tree is tall and will spread out wider than the coverage of the trees do up top.

So how do you move them? In some cases, you just can’t do it safely – there is no way to guarantee that everything will work out properly. However, there are some things you can do to ensure that your tree survives the move:

4. Know What Your Tree Likes

Beautiful tree
Credit: Hoshi Sae
  • Ensure that the water, sun, shade, and nutrition levels are ideal
  • Make sure to test soil – it can differ even within your home
  • The primary reason to move tree is so that it goes somewhere better

One of the main reasons people move their tree is because, for whatever reason, the tree is no longer getting what it needs where it is currently standing. As The Spruce says, location is the most important facet of whether or not your tree survives and it is even more important when you are trying to establish a tree in a new place.

Make sure that you do adequate research into your trees so that you know what they need and when they need it. Trying to move a tree from one spot to another will cause it to have higher levels of stress than ever before – so you want to make sure that there isn’t anything else that will cause stress for the tree when it does move.

If you have any questions, you can take to the internet, or even better, you can ask a tree care professional or a nursery for help dealing with the move. Sometimes, trees will need something different at a different stage of their lives.

3. Have The Proper Equipment

Failed move
Credit: Mark
  • Some tools are quite difficult to find and expensive
  • Requires knowledge of how to work them
  • You will have to deep prune trees to move them

One thing people don’t realize is that trees are extremely heavy. Of course, we know that they are heavy, but most people don’t realize just how heavy they are. You can’t move a tree with a car or a wheelbarrow. You need extremely hefty equipment that requires special licenses to operate and sometimes require years of experience before you really know how to use them, according to Instructables.

Even with proper equipment, you need to know how to clean everything that you use because you can quickly and easily spread diseases from one side of the tree to the other – and that will reduce the chances that the tree will acclimate to the new space. A disease or pest can even spread to the other plants in the area.

2. Smaller Trees Move Best

large trees
Credit: Takashi Tomooka
  • Root systems tend to be smaller
  • Easier to move without heavy equipment
  • Temporary placement possible

According to This Old House, “Moving a small tree isn’t too complicated. A successful transplant, temporary or not, depends on having an intact root ball of sufficient size – about 11 times the trunk’s diameter. If the trunk is more than 3½ inches across, call in a professional landscaper because of the weight involved. Once the tree is dug up, its roots get wrapped in burlap and twine to hold the soil. The tree can then be transported and kept alive until replanting time.”

It is much easier to move smaller trees because they just don’t require the amount of work that larger trees do. They are easy to tackle on your own, even if they still don’t have a great chance of success if you do not know what you are doing. Small trees still require a practiced hand and experience in making the cuts.

Remember that you will have to make a hole big enough to put the tree into, which is another way that a smaller tree is much easier to move than a larger one. The size of the tree is important in many ways – and remember that smaller trees tend to be less resilient. Make sure to plan your move properly so that you don’t plant them right before some type of storm that could snap the weakened branches.

1. It Is Possible To Move Bigger Trees

tall tree
Credit: Cuatrok77
  • Requires much more work
  • Needs aftercare that focuses on details
  • Tree type factors into ease of move

Moving a larger tree is much more of an ordeal and requires not only the best tools, not only practiced hands, but it also requires the best possible circumstances. It is difficult to move a tree and almost no one can guarantee success. Instead, using best practices and ensuring that the conditions are as good as possible is important.

Gardening Know How explains: “Generally, a big tree loses a significant portion of its roots in a transplant. This makes it hard for the tree to bounce back once it is replanted in a new location. The key to successfully transplanting a big tree is to help the tree grow roots that can travel with it to its new location.”

At Portland Tree Service, we can help you with all of your tree care needs – and we will bring our own tools We can help you throughout all the parts of the tree care lifecycle, from planting new trees to taking down older ones. This even includes helping you to safely move trees. For more information about our services, give us a call today at (503) 941-0922.

Header photo courtesy of Jin Kemoole on Flickr!
18 Aug 2018

More Than a Funeral: What To Do When a Tree Dies

It happens more quickly than you think: one day you are looking out your window or mowing your lawn and you notice it, that your beautiful tree has died. Unfortunately, even if you have the best tree care and you always make certain that your tree is healthy, trees will eventually die. This is just a fact of life and something that all homeowners, gardeners, and even tree care professionals need to understand.

How you handle the situation will determine whether the other trees in your garden will be far behind, however. Dead trees need to be treated properly so that you can continue to have a healthy ecosystem in your yard.

So, what should you do?

Start here:

4. Check for Infestations

dead tree
Credit: Bobu
  • One of the most common killers
  • Can spread to other trees or plant life in your yard
  • Might require professional help of some kind

If you have trees, there is a chance that you have pests. Sometimes, the pests aren’t bad enough to really cause any problems. Over the years, if left untreated, however, you might start to notice that your tree is slowly dying. This is because the pests (most often they are insects) are feeding off of the tree, absorbing the water and nutrients that it needs to survive.

According to Gardener’s Path, infestations can kill trees extremely quickly. This is because once they find something that provides them with nourishment or protection, they spread the news to their friends. Once the tree is dead, it can no longer provide the sustenance. These aren’t hospitable pests, however, and they don’t just move onto someone else’s tree – they will move onto the next live source of nourishment they can find. Most often, this is something else in your yard.

If your tree is dying, look to see if there are insects or the remnants of insects or pests (holes, excrement, nests, or shells). This means you have a huge problem and you should probably reach out to a professional of some sort – either a tree care professional or a pest management company.

3. Consider Replanting

creepy dead tree
Credit: Joan Sorolla
  • Be careful when purchasing new trees or greens
  • Make sure the soil is prepared for a new tree
  • Consider new types of trees – or the same kind in some cases

After a tree has died and has been removed properly (meaning the stump has been removed) the next thing to think about is how to fill the hole left behind.

According to the Royal Horticulture Society, “Plants that have died of physical causes such as waterlogging, poor establishment or underwatering can be replaced with the same type of plant. Remedy any site problems such as poor drainage prior to replanting.

Plants that have been killed by a disease, in particular a soil borne disease (e.g. honey fungus, Phytophthora root rot or Verticillium wilt) or difficult to control foliage/stem disease (e.g. box blight) are best replaced with something that shows resistance. Lists of resistant plants or those not affected can be found on our advice pages of common garden plant diseases. Plants that suffer from replant disease (e.g. roses) should not be replaced with the same type of plant.”

If you know why your tree died, you will better be able to figure out what to do with that empty space in your garden.

2. Root Rot

dead tree
Credit: Josh Giuliano
  • Common problem during spring seasons
  • If tree is healthy, leave it be
  • Talk to a professional if you have questions

One of the bright spots for people who think their trees are dead might actually come if it has been raining more often than normal – that rain could have caused symptoms of tree death, but it might not actually be dead.

According to Gardenerdy, “Sometimes, trees start dying due to root rot on account of over-watering. Water the tree only when the soil around it appears to be dry and fragmented. If there is a water-logging at the foot of the tree, make sure to devise a proper drainage system for the same. You may opt for removing soil from water-logged area and exposing the roots to fresh air for a few days.”

If your tree looks otherwise healthy, you might be able to keep it around for a few months to see if it will come around. Still, you have to think about the dangers that come along with unhealthy trees, so make sure that everything is secured.

1. Call a Tree Care Professional

Credit: Alan Levine
  • There is a chance to save your trees
  • Only professionals can handle some removals
  • Will make suggestions for other trees in your yard if the underlying cause could kill them as well

According to the Tree Care Industry Association, no matter when your tree dies, you want to always have your tree inspected by a tree care professional who will be able to make a diagnosis on the death. This is so vitally important because we are able to get a deeper look at your tree and help you to figure out just why the tree died. Sometimes, it will just be because of old age – this happens to many trees. Other times, however, and sometimes more commonly, it is because of a particular disease or nasty infestation. In these cases, you want to ensure that dead tree removal is treated properly and that the correct tools are used and cleaned properly. As a traditional homeowner, you probably do not have these tools at your disposal.

Many tree care professionals have the tools to help you remove stumps and the resulting debris from your yard and garden. At the same time, we can also help you turn that tree into something new and beautiful – fire burning logs, decorative logs, and/or mulch.

Whatever you do, don’t try to take tall trees (or any trees at all) down by yourself as it can be extremely hazardous and you will probably hurt yourself, another structure in your yard, or even your other trees.

At Portland Tree Service, we can help you with all of your tree care needs – and we will bring our own tools. For more information about our services, give us a call today at (503) 941-0922.

Header photo courtesy of Matthew Dillon on Flickr!