Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →

How to Transplant Redwoods

redwood sun image by Dennis Carrigan from

Redwoods are renowned as the largest living trees throughout the world, with the tallest one recorded at 367.8 feet. These massive trees require plenty of space, which is why their planting site is selected with a lot of forethought. Landscapers favor these evergreens because they stand out against any background and enhance interest. You may want to transplant your redwood tree to its final location outside, or take it with you if you are moving to a new house. Due to its fast growth rate, transplanting with successful results is only possible when the tree is still young and can be easily moved.

Select a new planting site that gets good sunlight and has well-drained soil. Chose a site away from any structures, paths or driveways because redwoods require an open space where they get full nutrition to spread and grow, without any hindrance.

Prepare the planting site prior to transplanting, if possible, so your redwood does not spend too much time out of the soil. Wear gloves and dig a hole twice the average size of the root ball with a shovel, and collect the dirt in a mound next to it. You can alter the size of the hole later, if needed.

Mix equal amounts of the collected soil, good-quality potting soil and compost in a wheelbarrow to provide nutrition-rich soil for the transplanted redwood tree.

Push the branches of your redwood tree downward, towards the trunk. Wrap lengths of rope to hold them in place. You can also trim excess foliage off your tree to make it lighter during the transplant process.

Insert your shovel in the ground a foot away from the trunk of the redwood tree, and dig deep to reveal the roots. You may have to dig quite deep to expose all the roots.

Dig a trench around the trunk that reaches down to the roots when you find the roots' ends. Slide the shovel at an angle under the roots to carefully lift the root ball. Do not worry about cutting some longer roots to help pry it free from the soil. Put the tree in a cart or wheelbarrow and transport it quickly to its planting site.

Check the root ball and make any necessary adjustments in the size of the planting hole. Lower the root ball in the center of the hole carefully, and backfill with your prepared soil in the wheelbarrow. Tamp the soil down to remove air bubbles. Cut the rope around the branches and water the planting site until the soil is evenly moist.

Spread a layer of mulch around the tree to retain moisture.


The ideal time to transplant is in spring, before buds appear on the tree. When digging a hole in the new planting site, allow 5 inches of soil depth for every inch of trunk diameter.

Garden Guides