Thread: transplanting 2 year old bareroot saplings

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  1. #1

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    transplanting 2 year old bareroot saplings

    2 years ago I got 7 bareroot saplings from The NADF and planted them in a little tree farm. Soon after I was mobilized for the war and sent away. I just got back and found that 5 of the 7 are doing real well. Some of the are starting to leaf or have buds. I want to transplant them to their final destination right away.

    I've read some of the threads here about transplanting, but they seem to be more about fully grown trees (with complete ballroots) or new saplings. My trees seem to be somewhere in the middle. I've read the info about how to ready a tree for transplanting by digging wide around the tree and slowly digging down the ballroot and wrapping in burlap. I don't think I can do that because the tree saplings were planted so close together (12" or so) and because I don't think that they have much "root" to bundle in burlap (but I don't know).

    Also, the soil around here is clay-like and I was thinking that I should mix in compost into the dirt of the final plant site. Is that good, bad or neutral as an idea?

    Finally, I had planned to dig with my shovel as deep as I could around the tree I plan to transplant (remember that I only have about 6" to use) and circle the sapling and then placing two shovels opposite each other, use one to lift the tree and surrounding dirt/roots and the other to hold it all together and then move this bundle over to the readied hole and plant it.

    Sound reasonable? I would do this with each of the 5 trees.

    Any advice, warnings, links or comments are welcome.

    Thanks,

    Dan

  2. #2

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    RE: transplanting 2 year old bareroot saplings

    Here is a photo of my tree farm, if it helps anyone...
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  3. #3
    Super Moderator Oak Quirky Quercus's Avatar
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    RE: transplanting 2 year old bareroot saplings

    Well what choice do you have? It's either move them or not and not moving them doesn't sound like a good idea for the long term. You may have to cut roots but try to get as much as you can.

    Use a couple of shovels and try to work them out and drop them into containers.

    I would not ammend the soil at the final planting site. Clay soil is fine for most trees.

  4. #4
    Oak
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    RE: transplanting 2 year old bareroot saplings

    You could do the job with one shovel, but more would be easier. The challenge in both cases is to be able to get the shovel(s) all around the trees without bumping into the neighboring trees. Make sure the soil is moist - not soaking wet - before moving the trees and you'll have an easier time keeping things together.

    I was able to move a large number of sweet birch that colonized up against two walls of the house (and on top of one another) by using two shovels, and transferring them to a wheelbarrow full of dirt, laying them all out first and then distributing them through the yard. There's maybe one that seems to have disappeared into one or more deer bellies, but other than that it looks like all but one or two really tiny ones will make it (they ranged in size from six inches to four feet tall, and were a mix of one and two years old.)

    Adding compost wouldn't hurt, but, as QQ noted, probably isn't needed. However, loosening up the dirt at the destination for at least a three foot circle is a good idea.

    If you were doing the transplanting next year, I'd say just cover the area with a mulch (particularly an organic mulch such as compost.) I've found that areas of developer-packed clay and rock mix that I covered with hardwood mulch last year has already transmogrified into beautiful, dark, soil with lots of worms. Still too many rocks, but that's understandable considering the developer trucked them in to make his life easier.

    For transplanting this year, just surround the tree - but not right up to the trunk! - with mulch, and the soil will still start working towards self-improvement as the roots start growing out.
    Cheers,
    Everett

    Green Man Enviroscaping LLC
    www.greenmanenvy.com

  5. #5
    Super Moderator Oak Quirky Quercus's Avatar
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    RE: transplanting 2 year old bareroot saplings

    What is it with developers and their clay/rock/construct debris mix?

    Yes! I forgot to mention to water them before digging. You don't want the soil to crumble away when you're digging. Do not skip this step!

  6. #6
    Oak
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    RE: transplanting 2 year old bareroot saplings

    What is it with developers and their clay/rock/construct debris mix?
    Keeps their backhoes and bulldozers from sinking...

    Of course, it doesn't help keep my heat pump from shifting and sinking on one corner...

    ...and it decays nicely into radon and uranium and other pleasant stuff!
    Cheers,
    Everett

    Green Man Enviroscaping LLC
    www.greenmanenvy.com

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