How to Transplant Mature Evergreens


Evergreen trees provide a year round ornamental appeal to yards and outdoor growing spaces as the foliage remains green year round. There may come a time when a tree can no longer remain it the current location and must be moved. Transplanting a mature tree is not an easy task, but is possible with several strong people helping move the large root ball. The tree must be moved with most of the main root structure in order to survive in the new location.

Step 1

Water the tree everyday starting three days prior to transplanting. This will stimulate the roots and provide strength to the tree.

Step 2

Mark the direction the tree is facing so it is transplanted in the same direction in the new location. The north side of the tree should face north when transplanted. An easy way to mark the tree is by tying a flag on one side of the tree.

Step 3

Prepare the transplanting location in March or April when the weather begins to warm and the ground is thawing.

Step 4

Dig around the tree at a diameter large enough to encompass most of the root ball. The diameter of the root ball should be at least 10 times the diameter of the trunk. A 3-inch diameter trunk should have at least a 30-inch diameter root ball. Use wooden planks as a lever to hoist the tree out of the hole.

Step 5

Dig a hole in the new planting location that is two to three times wider than the root ball and the same depth. Rough the sides of hole with a shovel and water the hole well prior to placing the tree in.

Step 6

Place the tree into the hole making sure it is facing the same direction as the previous location and is standing straight. Fill soil around the root ball and pack into place, making sure there are no air pockets.

Step 7

Water the tree immediately after planting and each day for the first two weeks. Continue to water the tree regularly the first growing season in the new location so the soil remains moist at a level 3 to 4 inches below ground level.

Step 8

Apply a 2 to 3 inch layer of mulch around the tree to assist with moisture retention and weed control.

Things You'll Need

  • Water
  • Tree marker
  • Shovel
  • Wooden planks
  • Mulch


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Keywords: transplanting evergreen trees, transplanting mature trees, moving evergreens

About this Author

Jennifer Loucks has over 10 years of experience as a former technical writer for a software development company in Wisconsin. Her writing experience includes creating software documentation and help documents for clients and staff along with training curriculum. Loucks holds a Bachelor of Science major from the University of Wisconsin - River Falls specializing in animal science and business.