View Full Version : Red Oak Transplant

05-16-2005, 01:47 PM
I recently had two red oaks transplanted to my yard. One of them is doing fine, and after some initial shock, seems to have stabalized. The other larger one, is not doing well at all. Majority of the leaves have completely browned, with only a few green or partially green ones left. The dirt around the tree is usually fairly moist from water runoff and the sprinkers, so I have not watered it much for fear of over watering. The roots on this one were fairly compact as it was moved from a rocky area. Is there anything I can do to help the tree live?

I'm at a bit of a loss as to whether I should be actively watering it more, use root stimulant, or is this normal behavior for this type of tree to go into such shock?

Any help is appreciated.

05-17-2005, 03:13 PM
The soil should be moist, but not wet. I would refrain from adding any fertilizers or other chemicals to the roots. A circle of mulch around the tree will keep the soil cool and enhance root growth.

05-19-2005, 07:32 PM
Not sure how long ago you had these trees planted, but a few years ago I transplanted some young elms, and was told to cut back 1/3 of the growth, and expect leaf drop until the roots established. They did indeed brown and drop, but then a month later leafed back out again, and the following spring were absolutely normal. I did mulch well, and watered deeply once a week, but if your soil is moist at the top you may want to take a trowel and dig down a foot or so to see if the soil is moist at some depth before watering. You may also want to try some root stimulator if that wasn't applied when they were planted.

Unfortunately this winter a bunny or two helped themselves to the bottom 8 inches of bark on my little elms, and so I dug one up and replaced with something else, then as I went to dig the other up, noticed it is growing new shoots from the very bottom of the trunk where a bit of bark remains. Guess I will give it a chance and protect the bark in the future!

Good luck

05-20-2005, 12:33 PM
I believe it's been about 1 month since they were planted. Initially most of the leaves browned, though some remained green - now all of them are completely brown though they are not dropping. The layer under the bark is still green around the trunk area, but many of the branches are brown through and through.

As for water, the soil is definately moist around the surface and well below. I'm concerned it may be getting too much water, though I'm hoping the tree is just in shock.

I get mixed reviews on root stimulator - is this ever Bad for a tree? And is it better if I have the tree cut back a bit?

05-20-2005, 07:36 PM
Hmm, well, I don't know of root stimulator being bad as long as it's properly diluted, but I'm only basing that opinion on my own experience, so maybe another more expert person will know better.

It could be since the root ball was compact that the tree is putting all its energy into growing the roots right now, which I have experienced before, and it could also be that coupled with a bit too much moisture. Perhaps you could try damming off some of the water that flows to it naturally. I don't know enough about Red Oak to know how sensitive it is to moisture levels. Does the other tree have similar moisture?

Where I live, we preserve every drop of moisture by planting a bit below the soil line to form a well, then build up the lip of the well to make a larger basin for the water, and mulch mulch mulch :) Sounds like you may have the opposite situation, so I would try and direct some water away from the tree, at least for now, if it turns out it's a tree that can't stand "wet feet".

Hopefully it will weather the transplanting ultimately and be the beautiful tree you were hoping for.

Good luck!