How to Transplant a Poplar Tree


A poplar tree is a fast growing tree with blooms that resemble tulips and dense green foliage. Although these deciduous trees can grow quite large in size, they are very easy to care for and add appeal to the surrounding landscape. Wood collected from poplar trees is lightweight and good quality, making it a favorite for many woodworking projects.

Step 1

Water the ground thoroughly three days prior to transplanting to make the soil around the trunk moist. Tie together any low hanging branches with rope to prevent them from breaking during the transplant. Notice the side of the trunk that faces the sun, and mark it with spray paint so it faces the sun when you replant it as well.

Step 2

Use a shovel to dig a 3-foot-deep trench around the base of the tree, right where the branches end. Collect all the dirt in a wheelbarrow. Continue shoveling, working your way at an angle inwards so you can loosen the roots from the soil. Carefully insert the shovel under the roots. Gently rock the tree back and forth when it begins to loosen so you can free its hold. Cut any taproot that is holding the tree to the ground, making sure you get as much of it as possible.

Step 3

Wrap the roots in wet burlap and the foliage in another large piece of burlap if the tree is to be transported to its planting site in a vehicle. You want to protect the tree from windburn and transplant shock, which can ultimately kill the tree. If you are moving it from one part of the garden to another, simply wet the roots and foliage of the tree with a garden hose.

Step 4

Dig a hole in the planting site that is three times as wide as the root ball and equally deep. Douse the hole with water, allowing it to drain completely.

Step 5

Carefully unwrap the burlap from the roots and the leaves, if you've used burlap, and inspect the tree for damage. Cut any split or circling roots off with a pair of sterilized shears.

Step 6

Carefully lower the poplar tree into its new location, making sure the marked side faces the sun in its new site. Water the soil gently to ensure it is evenly moist.

Step 7

Spread a layer of mulch at least 4-inches from the base of the tree to prevent weeds from growing around it, retain moisture and keep the roots cool.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden hose
  • Rope
  • Spray paint
  • Shovel
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Wet burlap
  • Shears
  • Mulch


  • Washington State University: How to Transplant Trees and Shrubs Successfully
  • North Dakota State University: Transpanting Trees and Shrubs
  • University of Vermont Extension: Transplanting Trees

Who Can Help

  • Poplar Tree
Keywords: transplanting trees, poplar trees, transplanting poplar trees

About this Author

Tanya Khan is a freelance author and consultant, having written hundreds of thousands of words for various online and print sources. She has an MBA in Marketing but her passion lies in giving her words wings.