Transplanting an existing tree in the landscape creates a difficult situation for the homeowner. However, moving a tree can sometimes mean better growing conditions. Tree transplanting tools make the task easier and allow the gardener to alter the landscape, while still saving a treasured plant.
Use round blade shovels to dig around the tree. These sharp digging tools feature a pointed tip that gouges into the soil. Use shovels to root prune trees at least two seasons before transplant. A round blade shovel easily chops through roots to create new sucker roots closer to the trunk.
Gardeners use pruning loppers to trim back low growth and suckers around the base of the transplant. Pruning loppers feature long handles for leverage and a hooked blade. Pull apart the lopper blade teeth, insert the tree branch and snap closed to cut. Press the handles together to slide the lopper blades together to form a nice, clean cut to the branch. Loppers are typically used on branches up to 2 inches in width.
Transplant of a tree often requires removal of damaged limbs. Remove limbs over 2 inches in width using a pruning saw. Pruning saws feature a sturdy handle and wide, serrated teeth. This type of saw differ greatly from a thin-toothed construction saw. Pruning saws cut on the pull motion and can't be moved back and forward like a traditional saw. Many models feature a slightly curved blade with a narrow point for reaching inside the foliage of trees and shrubs.
A simple ball of twine can really limit the aggravation of branches hitting you in the head. Twine is thin string that allows the gardener to tie back errant branches before digging. This handy tool also protects the branches during transport.
Burlap is a woven material that nurseries often use to contain soil around tree roots. This fabric degrades over time and features a wider weave than typical landscape fabrics. Burlap looks like brown cheesecloth and assists in transplanting in two ways. Burlap contains roots and soil in a central easy-to-move mass. In addition, gardeners can lift the plant by the burlap edges with a helper or slide the plant across the yard to the new planting side.
Excavation of an existing tree requires capturing an extensive and large root ball. Wheelbarrows act like a large rolling bucket to ease tree transport. Models come in both plastic and metal with varying durability. A wheelbarrow saves your back (and the tree) during transplanting.