How to Replant Pine Trees


Pine trees are purchased as seedlings or young trees. Young trees might be potted, bare root or balled-and-burlapped and are available at local nurseries. You can also replant, or transplant, a young pine tree if you want to move a tree you have previously planted. Pines are native to northern North America. Certain pines, such as the eastern pine, are native to an area from the eastern seaboard to Minnesota and parts of Canada. Others are native to an area from Minnesota west to the Pacific Coast and into western Canada.

Step 1

Dig a planting hole that is three times the width of the root ball and the same depth as the root ball. Scarify the sides of the hole with a spade. Fill the planting hole with water and allow it to soak in. Remove the seedling from the pot, place it in the planting hole, and backfill with soil. Apply at least one inch of water.

Step 2

Mulch as instructed by a local nursery to help hold moisture in the ground and to provide nutrients. Stake the seedlings, especially if you are in an area that experiences seasonal high winds.

Step 3

Plant bare root pine trees by digging a planting hole as wide as the spread-out roots. Measure the depth of the planting hole by looking for the discoloration on the trunk of the tree. The discoloration shows the depth at which the pine tree was previously planted.

Step 4

Plant balled-and-burlapped pine trees by digging a planting hole as deep as the root ball and three times as wide as the root ball. If the burlap is a synthetic material, remove it. If the burlap is an organic material, leave the burlap on the root ball, but remove all ties and staples holding the burlap onto the root ball. The organic burlap decomposes over time, providing extra nutrients for the pine tree.

Step 5

Plant pine tree seeds in potting soil in pots. Planting pine tree seeds directly in the ground invites squirrels and other pests. The seeds are dug up and eaten. Keep the seeds watered thoroughly. Plant according to Steps 1 and 2 when the seedlings reach a minimum of five inches in height.

Step 6

Transplant a pine tree by digging around the majority of the root ball. The roots extend out from the trunk as far as the crown is wide. Dig around the circumference of the crown and as deep as the taproot. Dig and prepare the planting hole as outlined in Step 1. Mulch as outlined in Step 2.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Pitchfork
  • Tree stakes
  • Compost or pulverized bark


  • Minnesota State: Planting Pines
Keywords: replant pine trees, bare root pines, balled and burlapped pine

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Cayden Conor is a family law paralegal who writes on various subjects including dogs, cockatoos and cooking. She has over 15 years of experience as a paralegal, and has been writing professionally for three years. Conor has a paralegal degree and majored in criminology, computer science (programming emphasis) and education.