Thread: Transplanting white pines

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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Elk River, MN

    Transplanting white pines

    I have several 3-5 foot white pines that I planted as bare root trees about 6 years ago. I would like to transplant some of them to a new area in my yard.

    I am in central MN, and wanted to know if it is too late in the season to transplant these. Should I wait until Spring, or can I do it now with little concern.

    Is any special preparation required?
    Aaron Z.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2005

    RE: Transplanting white pines

    I would recommend waiting until spring. The best time is just as the ground is thawing, but before the new growth starts coming out. The only thing you need to worry about is getting as much of the roots as you can. If this is done while the tree is dormant, disturbing the roots will have less impact on the tree. Also, I recommend using Vitamin B1 or superthrive or Mychorraze (Spelling? it's a powder you dust on the rootball) once it is in the ground. Then repeat the B1 about once every 10 days or so, depending on weather.

  3. #3

    RE: Transplanting white pines

    I feel for you! I had to transplant a red pine when I first moved into my new place. The previous owner had planted two white pines and a red pine, about 1 foot apart, about 1 foot from a propane tank, AND underneath the power lines to the house! Talk about a bad location. They had grown to within a few inches of the power line and although I hated to try to transplant such big trees, I figured it was either give it a try, or cut them down in the near future.

    The red pine was directly under the powerline so I tried that first. The first big problem was not realizing that the red pines have a taproot. I spent hours being so careful trying to get as much of the root structure in tact...incredibly difficult considering how all the pines were so close together. After hours of working arount the roots, I finally got underneath everything and discovered the taproot. I hand dug a couple feet down and there was no end in sight to it. I was so frustrated that I just figured I would cut it off and hope for the best, even though my feeling was that the chances of survival of such a big tree were almost zero, without the tap root.

    Anyway, I transplanted the tree to a good spot, gave it some good soil and was really careful about watering it. It looked for sure like it was going to die for at least a couple months, and then it very slowly started to just kind of stay the same instead of getting worse and worse every week. By mid-summer I couldn't believe it but I actually saw new growth on it. It's only been since April that the tree was transplanted, so I'm not out of the woods, but looking at it now, you would never know it went through that stress. I'm absolutely stunned that such a large tree survived the transplant, losing such a huge percentage of it's root system, and being transplanted late in the spring. Maybe I was just lucky, and I'd certainly never recommend doing what I did, unless there is absolutely no other option. After all that, I haven't been able to bring myself to attempt transplanting the two other white pines in the same vicinity. They aren't directly under the power line, so I'm kind of hoping that I can prune the branches that grow immediately over the line, and keep my fingers crossed that they never bring down the line.

    Good luck with yours and let us know how it goes.

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