How to Transplant Pine Trees in the Fall


There are various species of pine trees found across the country. Each produces a different shape, and grows in stature up to 100-feet tall. Pine tree types can be identified according to their shape, length and number of pine needles found in each bundle. The various types of pines have their own unique soil requirements that should be identified when purchasing a new tree from the nursery. Ground preparation, soil condition, and post transplant upkeep are all important for the pine tree to adapt and thrive in its new environment. Fall and early spring are the optimum times of year for transplanting pine trees. Shortly after initial pine needles begin to drop is the optimum time for fall transplanting.

Transplanting Pine Trees in the Fall

Step 1

Select a site for transplanting the pine tree which is away from the home and other trees that might interfere with its growth in later years. The area should also have adequate sunlight available as well as the appropriate soil condition and pH level.

Step 2

Dig the hole for planting at least twice as deep, and three times as wide as the size of the planter or root ball in which the tree was transported in. Depending on current soil condition, amend the soil with a tree starter soil and compost. Before placing the tree in the hole, back-fill the bottom with the enriched soil.

Step 3

Carefully remove both without disturbing or damaging the tree's roots. Place the tree in the hole and position it where the root core is level or slightly above the surface line. If more back-fill is required to achieve the proper level for the tree, fill in the more soil at this time.

Step 4

Hold the tree in an upright and steady position and complete the back-fill with soil and any amendments that may be desired. Pack the soil down around the firmly enough so that it cannot be easily uprooted or tilted.

Step 5

Stake out the pine tree with two or more tree stakes and grass rope to protect it from the wind and weather. Stakes should not be removed until the roots have become established in the new soil.

Tips and Warnings

  • Make sure there are no electrical or gas lines in the vicinity before transplanting trees.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Tree planting soil or compost
  • Tree stakes


  • "University of Clemson": Pine
  • "North Dakota State University": Transplanting Trees and Shrubs
  • "Cornell University": Transplanting Guide
Keywords: planting pine trees, transplanting pine fall, fall tree transplanting

About this Author

Damon Hildebrand is a retired U.S. Navy veteran. He has more than 15 years within the oil and gas industry in both technical and managerial positions. Hildebrand has been a technical writer and communicator for the last four years. He is a certified specialists in lubrication and tribology, as well as a certified maintenance and reliability professional.