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Jeff S

How big of an oak tree can I move?

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I have several oak trees I'd like to save from a building sight this spring. They are from 2" to 6 1/2" in diameter. Is moving the bigger trees possible? How big of a tree can a tree spade handle?

Thanks for the help!

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From what I know about oaks, they don't like their roots disturbed. If you hire out a pro, they should be able to tell you what will work. If you have a spade yourself, you might as well give it a whirl, as the only thing you will be set back with is a little time and effort. Just go as deep and wide as possible, and keep those roots moist but not saturated.

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There are several complicating factors such as the species of oak and the soil they are currently in. This iwll change the style of roots they have and how they have grown. Most oaks are a tap root style and go a lot deeper than a spade can dig. Although, oaks can do well with transplanting, its hard to do with a treee that hasn't been prepped for moving. The smaller trees will probably do fine, but if you can find someone with a big enough spade ot move the 6" trees they should be fertilized before transport to help them endure. Kind of a rule of thumb is that for every inch of diameter, thats how many years it will take a tree to recover. This is called transplant shock.

Best thing to do is call a few places and get opinions and estimates. If you nwat to do it yourself thats fine, but getting an expert opinion can help you get a gameplan.

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