how to dig up a small tree

Water thoroughly, all the way out to the edge of the hole site. Using your spade, you’ll want to dig out the soil that surrounds the roots to expose them. 8. Disclosure: BobVila.com participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for publishers to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. Once the tree is placed in the ground, remove the burlap and twine. Gently insert the pitchfork into the soil and pry the tree up. Pull the stump out with a tow strap and vehicle. 12. Once the tree is uprooted, tie up the crown as much as possible to reduce limb breakage during the move. STEP 1 To properly prepare the tree for pruning, water it well the day before. Expert advice from Bob Vila, the most trusted name in home improvement, home remodeling, home repair, and DIY. 10. If you notice that the tree is dying, it's best to call an arborist or landscaping company as soon as possible. This number is the closest distance from the tree that you can cut the root. Dig under the ball in order to free your tree. Water the soil thoroughly three days before you plan to dig. Digging … Prepare the Tree. For every inch of tree trunk ... 2. Push tree onto tree dolly, and pull it from hole. Push the spade toward the tree, creating a … If you are digging up the plant that you are transplanting, start by creating a … But, occasionally, a tree’s placement presents some problems. Water the hole well to infuse some extra moisture into the soil, which will help hold the root ball together. When you’ve uncovered the root, draw a line where you want to cut it with spray paint, colored chalk, or a thick marker. For example, a tree with a 1-inch-diameter trunk should have a soil ball that is 16 to 24 inches in diameter. This article was co-authored by Katie Gohmann. Cut through the palm roots and soil with a sharp spade in a circle around the palm that extends about 12 to 24 inches out from the trunk, depending upon the palm species, to create … If the tree wasn’t getting enough sunlight or nourishment where it once was, ensure the new location will provide those things. The bigger your tree, the more friends you should invite to help. She has been a home gardener and professional gardener since 2008. Support wikiHow by When digging trees, the radius of the root ball should be approximately 8 to 12 inches for each inch of trunk diameter at chest height. Use a hand saw, reciprocation saw or chainsaw to sever the major roots from the stump. If you’re planning to transplant a tree in the fall, then prune roots the previous spring. Then lift the tree from the ground with the burlap (never by the trunk) to prevent breakage. Use the diameter of the resulting circle as a guide to determine the size of the hole you will need at the new planting location. First, dig out a new planting hole. Petrol hedge trimmer or hand shears for cutting adjacent bushes and ground cover from around base of tree Loppers for cutting thick branches Spade for digging soil from around the roots and cutting small roots Pick-axe optionally for breaking up hard, stony soil around roots, cutting roots and levering the stump up Dig around the base of the pine tree gently. STEP 4 Using a shovel, remove the topsoil near the trunk and roots of the tree. Then add two to three inches of mulch around the base of the tree, being careful not to push it up onto the trunk, to promote adequate moisture levels and temperature. They will be able to evaluate whether you need to remove the tree and the steps you can take next. Wrap burlap around root ball and pin with nails. Once you’ve picked the right place to plant, dig a hole that’s 2 or 3 times the width of the root ball and 1 or 2 inches deeper than the height of the root ball. For more tips from our Gardening co-author, including how to cut a big tree root, read on! This article was co-authored by Katie Gohmann. Unlock this expert answer by supporting wikiHow, http://hort.ufl.edu/woody/disturbing.shtml, https://www.bobvila.com/articles/how-to-remove-tree-roots/, http://www.arborilogical.com/tree-articles/dangers-of-root-disturbance/, http://blog.davey.com/2016/09/removing-tree-roots-above-ground-will-it-harm-or-kill-the-tree/, http://www.davey.com/arborist-advice/articles/protect-tree-roots/, http://gizmodo.com/5994728/the-8-types-of-shovels-everyone-should-know, http://www.treeremoval.com/tree-cutting/tree-roots/#.WHeohfkrLcc, https://dengarden.com/landscaping/tree-saw, http://homeguides.sfgate.com/natural-ways-rid-tree-roots-43781.html, http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/newsletters/hortupdate/hortupdate_archives/2002/mar02/art3mar.html, https://extension.umd.edu/learn/how-do-you-decide-when-remove-tree, http://www.tiptoparborists.com/20-tree-care-tree-service-myths/, consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. She has been a home gardener and professional gardener since 2008. Dig the planting hole deep enough to accommodate roots without twisting and breaking either the roots or the soil ball. Use a pointed shovel to dig out the soil around the tree stump. Add any soil necessary to achieve the proper height. Set tree in hole; cut away burlap. Find an Optimal Location. Tamp the soil down gently as you go. Refrain from fertilizing the tree for at least one year; you want the tree to concentrate its energy on rebuilding its root system instead of producing new growth. The care you give a tree after transplanting is extremely important. It should be about three times as wide and the same depth as the root ball. Having another person on hand to help contain the tree roots in the burlap and lift the tree from the ground will help immensely. The tree’s diameter will help you determine how much you need to dig to remove the root ball of the tree. Other times, they can become dangerous, such as when a tree is growing too close to a foundation of a house or is damaging underground pipes. First, call the utility company to make sure you aren’t digging around water, sewer or other underground lines. Transplant your tree in the fall or spring. I dont know what kind it is. 13. STEP 6 Once the tree is completely free of the ground, place a sheet of natural burlap in the hole and coax the tree roots over it. By using our site, you agree to our. STEP 1 Choose a new location carefully. For example if your tree has a diameter of 2 feet (60.96 cm) you shouldn't cut the root closer than 16 feet (4.8 meters) from the tree itself. unlocking this expert answer. MATERIALS AND TOOLS Available on Amazon – Flat spade – Shovel – Pruning shears – Loppers (optional) – Natural burlap – Twine – Tarp – Mulch – Tree stakes. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. The root underground is red on the outside, moist on the inside and smells like cedar. Finally, fill the hole with mulch or fertilizer. If you really can’t stand to see another ad again, then please consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. With some planning and thoughtful care, you’ll be able to enjoy your transplanted tree in its new location for many years to come. However, digging up tree roots isn't as simple as using a shovel to dig a hole. If you come across any older, stubborn roots in the path of your digging that you missed while digging the trench months ago, cut them with pruning shears or—in the case of larger roots—loppers. Jennifer Noonan, Bob Vila, 11 Decorative Pillow Trends to Expect in 2021. Digging up too many roots or the wrong roots can actually kill the tree, which may cause you to remove the tree entirely. Dig a trench around the outside edge of the tree’s root ball line. If the tree isn’t thriving (whether from disease or environmental issues), you may need to hold off until it becomes healthy again. Luckily, if you follow the correct procedures, take the right precautions, and use the right techniques, you can safely dig up a tree's roots without killing the tree. Also, as an added measure of safety, make sure you aren’t digging near any underground utility lines during the course of the project. You can use a spade to break the soil apart. Keep reading for instructions on how to prune as well as how to transplant your tree—and how to ensure it survives in its new home. To get started, you’ll need to carefully dig up the sapling and its root ball. Remember that the diameter of the root ball as determined when pruning should be left intact; if a tree trunk is two inches in diameter, then dig a little more than two feet down in order to get the full root ball. Estimate the width and depth of the root ball (roots plus soil) by … Water the tree as soon as possible after transplanting. During these seasons, most specimens are dormant, which is ideal. Measure and mark the area to be pruned. Water the soil around the tree a day before you plan to dig it out. After transplanting, ensure the tree gets enough water in relation to the climate, soil type, and rainfall levels. I'm in Texas, and I don't want to feed Subterranean Termites. Calculate the Size of the Root Ball. This is a more traditional, “roll up your sleeves and get to work” kind of technique. Dig … [1] X Research source Measure the tree trunk's diameter with a tape measure and multiply it by 8. Work your way around the tree, pushing the pitchfork deeper under the tree's root system. After roots are pruned, homeowners should give the tree several months to establish a new root system. wikiHow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together. Even so, you should start your project much sooner than that; tree roots must be pruned several months prior to the transplant in order to help the tree thrive in its new location. Killing the root and destroying it are two different things. Perhaps it blocks a construction project like a home expansion or a deck addition. Dig and chop your way under the root ball to the taproot. 7. The process of transplanting a tree actually begins several months prior to the actual relocation with the pruning of its roots. Ensure the tree is healthy before removing it from the ground, since a sick or damaged plant likely won’t survive relocation. After you’ve pulled out the root, bury a plastic tree root barrier 30-inches below the soil to prevent it from growing back. Tree roots can sometimes be unsightly in our yards, causing us to want to dig up them up. Wrap in Burlap. Please help us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker. We use Airspade tools to find out or uncover were the roots are coming from and where they are going. The airspade uses air pressure to gently blow away the soil around the roots. We still have the roots there. For leverage it is necessary to leave a good sized stub on the stump (up to 1.2m (4ft) high) rather than cutting it off at ground level. Continue digging until you’ve exposed the roots all the way around the stump. Once you’ve marked the root, use gardening shears or scissors to cut it. STEP 2 Water the tree’s soil one day before transplanting. On the other hand, dormant plants have more time to lay down new root systems, store nutrients, and prepare for growth season. Wrap the root ball in burlap to hold it … For example, a tree with a 1-inch-diameter trunk should have a soil ball that is 16 to 24 inches in diameter. When you return in two seasons for the move, you should find new feeder roots growing closer to the tree trunk and creating a strong root system. Note: If your tree’s trunk spans more than three inches in diameter, its root ball will be too heavy and fragile for a do-it-yourself landscaping job. How to Remove a Tree Stump from the Ground in 12 Steps. This act encourages the growth of new feeder roots (which absorb water and nutrients) closer to the tree’s base to help the tree better adapt to its new location. Dig it Out. Trace the root that you want to cut back to the tree. This article has been viewed 282,155 times. … Using a spade, dig a trench around the tree … If the tree is smaller, planted on flat terrain, and not exposed to a lot of wind, you shouldn’t need to stake it. When plants are removed from the soil while growing they enter a state of shock that decreases their chances of survival in a new home. If it’s too heavy to carry, place its burlap-covered root ball on a tarp so you can drag it to the new location. Digging Up the Tree. Then start digging around the tree with a sharp, flat spade about six inches further than the pruned roots. Which one is correct? This article has been viewed 282,155 times. Start by using a small hand shovel to cut a circle 1.5′ around the trunk of the tree a … Destruction is achieved by physical removal (stump grinder) or natural decay. STEP 3 Cut a trench (about two feet deep and at least one foot wide) around the root ball with a flat spade, making sure to cut through the existing roots that extend past this circumference using the sharp edge of the spade. Dig at the same measurements that the transplant hole has been dug. 9. Prepare the Transplant. I want to dig it up because I dont like it and replace it with a crepe myrtle. Use a pitchfork to dig up the pine tree to lessen damage to the tree's root system. As long as the healthy sapling’s tree trunk isn’t larger than three inches in diameter, a homeowner can follow this guide for how to transplant a tree to another spot in the yard. STEP 4 Refill the trench with the uplifted soil, carefully placing subsoil underneath topsoil. wrap root ball of tree in burlap to hold intact. Using a shovel, dig a wide ring around the sapling while taking note of the location and size of its root ball. Tie up the branches with twine or strips of burlap to keep them out of the way while moving the tree. 11. If you’re planning to transplant a tree in the spring, then prune roots the previous fall. There are 11 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. Identify the outside edges of your root ball relative to the size of the tree with a shovel line. The picture shows the circumference being used. Whatever the situation, that poorly positioned tree doesn’t have to get you down or get chopped down. Copyright © 2020 Acton Media Inc. All rights reserved. Water soil thoroughly around the magnolia tree. Now is the time to choose an optimal location for your tree. It will be necessary to get the shovel beneath the ball so that you’re able to wedge your tree free. Use loppers to cut larger roots. Step 2: Dig and sever roots. By using this service, some information may be shared with YouTube. Dig a trench around the perimeter of the tree wide enough to accommodate the rootball. Dig the wild pine up. Project Length: Plan for a whole day and be pleasantly surprised if it takes less time. When digging trees, the radius of the root ball should be approximately 8 to 12 inches for each inch of trunk diameter at chest height. Katherine Gohmann is a Professional Gardener in Texas. Maybe the tree is floundering from inadequate light, soil, or water conditions in its current location. Continue to dig around your tree until you’re able to see the ball’s bottom. 1. This prevents the tree from sprouting back up. Dig a new home. Is there a way to control the roots so that they don't damage the raised cinderblock flowerbed? Be sure the tree will be able to reach full maturity without competition and provide a site where soil is deep, fertile, and well-drained. We know ads can be annoying, but they’re what allow us to make all of wikiHow available for free. Then, hold the loose end and pull the root towards you until it tears free. I want to plant some live oak trees in a raised flowerbed and keep them relatively small. Dig Up the Sapling. So, if the trunk is two inches thick, you’ll aim to prune the root ball to be two feet in diameter. Now its about 10 feet tall and 4 feet wide. Allow 10 to 12 inches for each 1-inch diameter of magnolia tree trunk. Use the other end of the mattock to start chopping your way through the tree roots. But consider staking unsteady or larger trees. Instead, call a professional to see about having this larger tree transplanted. Digging Out Tree Roots. Using a shovel, remove the topsoil near the trunk and roots of the tree. Katherine Gohmann is a Professional Gardener in Texas. Next, carefully dig under the root ball and lift the sapling out of the ground. STEP 2 Calculate how much of the root ball—the cluster of roots at the base of your tree—you intend to prune. Moving crepe myrtles requires a bit of digging. The text says I should use the diameter times 8 to get the distance. Arborists will have the equipment and knowledge to safely remove the tree roots for you. Generally, homeowners should plan to deeply water the tree every day for the first two weeks. Watering helps ensure the soil sticks to the roots, and moist soil is easier to dig into. If transplanting in the fall, complete the task early enough for the roots to get established before the ground freezes. For instance, you shouldn't cut a tree that's 16-inches (406.4mm) in diameter 8 feet (2.4384 meters) to 16 feet (4.8768 meters) from the trunk. You can purchase a plastic tree root barrier at most lawn and garden centers. What is the easiest way go get roots out of the ground that grinding left there? JR, The No BS Gardener, shows you how to properly dig and burlap a tree or shrub to transplant For smaller trees the stumps can be pulled out with a winch. Did you know you can read expert answers for this article? STEP 5 After digging all the way around the circumference of the tree, start to dig under the tree to sever the roots beneath. Digging several inches past the trench ensures that you include most (if not all) of the new feeder roots that will help the tree adjust to its new location. Cutting the root too close to the tree can cause structural instability and can cause the tree to fall over. A tree may also start growing too close to the house or surrounding landscaping, preventing healthy development. Generally, for every inch of the tree’s diameter, you’ll want to dig 9 to 12 inches in diameter and 6 inches in depth. To dig out the roots, you’ll need a few supplies: a spade, loppers, grub hoe, and possibly a root saw. To dig up a small tree root, start by digging a hole around and underneath it. Next, you need to dig out the tree. When we moved here about 1.5 years ago, there was a small tree in the front yard. Continue digging to undercut tree and reveal root ball. A small bow saw can also be used to sever the roots as you uncover them. For smaller stumps, you can use a digging bar to pry the stump out. Take care to save the soil, separating the topsoil from the subsoil. STEP 3 In the new location, dig a hole that’s about three times as wide yet the same depth as the root ball, in order to give the lateral roots room to spread out. To remove a tree stump by hand, first, dig around the trunk to expose the major roots. Whether they’re deciduous or evergreen, shade or ornamental, trees add value and curb appeal to any property. Here are some tree moving tips to help transplanting go as smoothly as possible: Prepare the planting hole before digging up a tree. How to Remove a Small Tree From Your Yard. If you're transplanting multiple trees, do so one at a time, starting with this step. Tie burlap to root ball with string. How do I stop roots from growing again in a spot without killing the trees? This is the most important. Does anyone dig them up? It’s important to have the new planting site ready to go so you limit the amount of time the tree’s roots are exposed. It has to be large enough to fit all of the tree’s current roots, but somewhat wider, to allow those roots to expand. We use cookies to make wikiHow great. Follow up with proper tree care and inspections for insect damage. The tree you dig should not be exposed to the elements for very long. As a general rule of thumb, the root ball should be about one foot in diameter for every inch of trunk thickness. Using a spade, dig a trench around the tree to a depth of 1½ to 2 feet. For more tips from our Gardening co-author, including how to cut a big tree root, read on! After the ball’s exposed, you can move your tree. Some store locations will allow you to rent reciprocating saws for a daily rate. Moist soil is easier to dig and helps maintain the cohesiveness of the root ball. It helps to keep the root ball moist when … How do I find out where the tree roots are coming from? You agree that BobVila.com may process your data in the manner described by our Privacy Policy. 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