Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map!

How to Transplant Cherry Trees

By Jennifer Loucks ; Updated September 21, 2017

Cherry trees are a fruit-producing tree variety that grows in most soil types as long as it is well-draining and supplemental water is provided during dry periods. Cherry trees should be transplanted early in the spring season to give the tree the entire growing season to establish the root system. Transplanting a currently growing tree requires digging as much of the root ball from the ground as possible. A cherry tree that is less than 2 feet in height is easier to remove from the ground and has a better chance of survival in the new location than a larger tree.

Water the cherry tree one to two days prior to digging it up for transplanting. Soak the soil to a depth of several inches to plump and strengthen the root system.

Measure the height of the tree. Dig a hole that is as deep as the tree is high and that is twice as wide as it is high. This will include a large majority of the roots. Dig the tree from the ground, making sure to remove as much of the root ball as possible. Plant the tree in the new location immediately to prevent drying and damage to the root system.

Dig a hole in the new planting location that is slightly deeper and wider than the root ball. Add several inches of organic compost to the bottom of the hole and place the root ball on top. Make sure the top of the root ball is not below the soil line.

Pour a bucket of water into the hole to keep the roots moist. Make sure that the tree is standing straight and gently add soil to the hole. Lightly pack the soil in place to remove air pockets around the root ball.

Water the transplanted cherry tree generously after planting. Continue to water the tree with 1 to 2 inches of water per week during the first growing season.

Stake the cherry tree to provide additional support if the planting location is windy.

Apply a 4-inch layer of mulch around the cherry tree several weeks after planting. This will increase the moisture retention around the roots and reduce weed growth.


Things You Will Need

  • Water
  • Shovel
  • Organic compost
  • Bucket
  • Tree stake
  • Mulch


  • Note the direction the tree is facing at the current growing location and plant it in the new location facing the same direction.

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.