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How to Transplant Norway Pine Trees

Norway pine (Pinus resinosa) or red pine is a tree native to North America with reddish-brown bark and long green needles. The name "Norway pine" originated when European colonists confused the red pine tree with the Norway spruce; the name is still used today to refer to the red pine tree. These trees ca be transplanted successfully when they are young, no more than 12 to 15 feet in height. Plan to transplant your Norway pine tree in late winter once frost danger has passed for your area.

Select a new site for your Norway pine that allows the tree enough room to mature. Wellesley College notes that Norway pines average 50 to 80 feet in height.

Dig a hole at the new location, using your shovel, that's twice the size as the Norway pine's root ball. For transplanting container trees, estimate the root ball by the size of the container. If the tree is in the ground, use GardenLine's recommendation of 9 to 12 inches of root ball per inch of tree trunk diameter. Remove any rocks or weeds from the hole.

Remove your pine tree from its present location. If your Norway pine is in a container, pull the tree out of the container. Otherwise dig a hole around the tree's estimated root ball using your shovel. Work down into the soil, then in, so that the roots gather naturally in a ball.

Pull the Norway pine out of the hole when you've exposed most of the roots. If a few roots will not come loose from the soil, cut them with a sharp spade. Then place the tree in your wheelbarrow and wheel it over to the new site.

Place your Norway pine in the prepared hole so it's planted at the same depth as it was sitting previously. Check to ensure the tree is straight vertically, then backfill the hole with soil.

Water your newly transplanted pine tree until the soil compresses around the tree roots and the ground becomes saturated.


Purchase a new tree if you wish to transplant a Norway pine larger than 15 feet. It can be too physically demanding to move larger trees.

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