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How to Transplant a Weeping Cherry

By Jennifer Loucks ; Updated September 21, 2017
Cherry tree in bloom.

The weeping cherry tree is a variety that reaches a height of up to 30 feet with a spread averaging about 25 feet. Weeping cherry trees produce light pink blooms in early spring and are hardy to plant in U.S. Department of Agriculture Plant Hardiness Zones 4 through 8. Transplant the weeping cherry tree in early spring to give the tree enough time to establish the root system before winter. Choose weeping cherry trees that have a trunk less than 4 inches in diameter for best success with moving.

Estimate the root ball diameter by measuring the diameter of the tree trunk. The diameter of the root ball is approximately 1 foot for every 1 inch of the trunks diameter. A 5-inch diameter tree trunk requires digging around it for 5 feet in diameter. Note the direction each side of the tree is facing so you can plant it in the new location facing the same directions.

Dig around the estimated diameter of the root ball about 2 to 3 feet deep. You want to remove as much of the main root ball as possible to increase the success with transplanting the tree.

Place the edge of 3 to 4 planks under the root ball and use them in a lever action to raise the root ball out of the ground. You may need to snip through roots attached to the surrounding ground.

Lift the root ball from the ground and place it on a nylon tarp. Wrap the tarp around the root ball to hold the dirt while moving the weeping cherry tree to the new location.

Dig a planting hole for the weeping cherry that is twice as wide as the root ball and slightly deeper. Place several inches of organic compost in the bottom of the hole and fill it half full of water to moisten the surrounding ground.

Place the root ball into the hole, making sure the tree is facing the same direction as in the previous growing location. Fill half of the hole with soil following by a good soaking of water to compact the soil. Fill the remaining area with soil and tamp it down.

Water the soil again after transplanting the weeping cherry to limit air pockets around the root ball.


Things You Will Need

  • Tape measure
  • Shovel
  • Wood planks
  • Tarp
  • Organic compost
  • Water


  • Do not fertilize or place mulch around the transplanted tree until root establishment occurs in the new location.

About the Author


Jennifer Loucks has been writing since 1998. She previously worked as a technical writer for a software development company, creating software documentation, help documents and training curriculum. She now writes hobby-based articles on cooking, gardening, sewing and running. Loucks also trains for full marathons, half-marathons and shorter distance running. She holds a Bachelor of Science in animal science and business from University of Wisconsin-River Falls.