Tree transplanting is deceptively more challenging and tedious than most people realize. This is because transporting it means you have to deal with its roots. These roots have a lot of responsibility to the trunk- it provides nutrients, transports water, and helps anchor the entire plant in the ground. So if you cut its roots before trying to transport it, you could do some serious damage. Here are a couple steps you can take to prepare your roots for transport. If you are trying to transport a plant, you will need to prune its roots to helps it crate a new root ball. This will be transported to the new site. Milledgeville Tree Services is here to help with any of your tree needs. Keep following along!

  1. Measure the tree’s diameter by wrapping a measuring tape around the limb, four feet from the base of the plant. Then divide that number then by 3.14. In general, roots that are 3-5 times the diameter away from you’re the base can be pruned free. And if your plant is 3 feet in diameter, cut its roots just 9-15 feet away from the trunk.
  2. You can decide on the best step from here. It is important to keep your safety as well as the  health of the plant in mind. Therefore, you should avoid cutting its roots if they have a diameter of more than two inches. This same logic should be applied if the sapping itself is more than two inches in diameter as you will likely need a professional arborist to do the job.
  3. Some times of year are better to prune your roots than others. The best time to prune roots depends on whether you are planning on transporting the plant in the spring or in the fall. If you are planning on transporting during the fall months, you should consider pruning the roots after the leaves have filled out and turned green for the summer. However, if you are planning on transporting the plant during the spring months, you will not want to trim the roots in the previous summer months as you will starve the tree of nutrition for too long. Instead, you should prune in the early winter or late fall (November). Although it can vary tree to tree based on the tree type and size, the best wait time between root pruning and the actual transport is usually around six months.

Many people are curious if cutting roots will kill or decrease the lifespan of their plant, however there are a variety of factors that determine how your tree will fare its move. Some things to consider are the tree’s age, its health over its lifespan, and the number of roots you plan to prune. Moving a sapling always comes with risks and you can compare this move to that of an elderly person- lots of risk factors to consider, each is tailored to the specific tree. The most promising way to avoid a cut that may kill your plant is to follow all of the above recommendations and to do it during the right time of year. Be careful not to cut too many roots and if at any time you are not comfortable doing the work, call your local tree experts.