Moving a tree

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Greg_S_H, Apr 17, 2011.

  1. Greg_S_H

    Greg_S_H Executive Producer

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    I'm moving soon, and about the only regret I have is having to leave my chaste tree behind. I planted it when it was about a foot and a half high, and now it's 7' or so. I hate the idea of some yahoo moving in here in the winter, seeing it bare and chopping it down. Or, just neglecting it. So, I got to wondering if I could move it. I found a thread where a guy said he did with no problems, but I just don't know. I figure it would cost a fortune to have it done, but the guy did it himself, so maybe I could, too. The tree only cost $25 when I bought it a couple of years ago, so I guess the worst case would be killing this beautiful thing that I don't want to see dead. I could just leave it there and hope for the best. It won't be mine, and I won't go back to check on it if I leave it. But, if I could take it, that would be great. I'd have to transport it about 2 miles. Is this in any way feasible? How far have the roots probably spread in a couple of years? Here's a picture:





    Not a great picture, but it's the only one I've got at the moment. Besides the retaining wall, it's got concrete blocks on both back sides as well. So, the roots are contained for the first foot or so. I don't know if the roots spread out further below that. How many roots can you cut and not harm the tree?

    Well, it's probably fantasy and I can just buy a new one and hope it does as well. But, it's really the first tree I've planted and nurtured to full size and I'm really attached to it.


    Oh, and I know some people prune these to actually look like trees--bare towards the base--but I like the bushy look. Just being defensive because people have told me to do that. Nah!
     
  2. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
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    Greg,


    I have moved several (much smaller) "trees" myself in our garden succesfully, and I have been part of the removal-and-putting-back of a tree even bigger than yours in front of the school-building we (the board) were reconstructing.


    The latter was placed on a host-spot for some time and is now back almost precisely at it's old place and in full bloom again yearly. Ask the appropriate specialists, it may cost you some $$ (but not excessively).



    Cees
     
  3. Al.Anderson

    Al.Anderson Cinematographer

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    I don't think moving it is a technical problem, it's just that you'll need such a large ball that it will require a hoist of some kind. I'm guessing at least a 4-5 foot diameter. If you don't mind paying for that machinery, and either paying for or doing a lot of digging - no problem. I also think you'll be tearing up the yard quite a bit, which will either make the landlord or the real estate lady very unhappy.


    Why not see if the new owner wants it. If it's going to be appreciated you won't feel so bad.
     
  4. Patrick_S

    Patrick_S Producer
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    [FONT= 'Arial']Leave it and move on. [/FONT]

    [FONT= 'Arial'] [/FONT]

    [FONT= 'Arial']It's a cheap inexpensive tree and it apparently grows like a weed if you only planted it a couple of years ago. Plant a new one and enjoy taking care of it while it grows. (And be a good neighbor and don't plant it on the fence line.) [/FONT]

    [FONT= 'Arial'] [/FONT]

    [FONT= 'Arial']Besides moving it does create some logistical issues. If you don't move it before you put your house up for sale you would have to stipulate and tell every potential buyer that you were going to take it. If you don’t tell the buyer and just move it they would have legal recourse to come after you monetary compensation. [/FONT]
     
  5. Greg_S_H

    Greg_S_H Executive Producer

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    I'll probably leave it, but it can't hurt to talk to the nursery. They deliver mature trees, so maybe they could give me an estimate. I'm not concerned about the buyer, because I'd move it before it even went on the market. If the only area affected is the area within the retaining wall, I could easily throw a cheap tree in there or leave it as a ready to use bed. If digging had to be done outside the wall, the project would be abandoned right there. I don't know if your good neighbor comment was just advice for the new place or a criticism of where I have my tree now, but it's not a problem. A little bit hangs over towards the part of the parkway I "own," but none the neighbor's way. This tree is very easy to trim.
     
  6. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    Removed!


    Jay
     
  7. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    If you can cut out the root ball and wrap it with burlap and move it yourself, if you think the effort is worth it.... But it's probably not financially worth it, in reality... 7' isn't too tall but with the root ball, it might need some pretty heavy lifting...


    Jay
     
  8. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
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    Another possible solution: you could clone it.


    You need to take several branches (7 - 10 at least, to increase the chance of success) and induce them to sprout roots.

    It's not really difficult, but it takes some care and a healthy bit of luck. You can find the specifics all over the Internet (or in dedicated books).


    The new tree will actually be the old tree itself (not "offspring"), a part of it.



    Cees
     
  9. DavidJ

    DavidJ Producer
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    When I sold our last house, I attempted to clone the Japanese maple that I planted and loved. I also tried to start a bonsai from it. Unfortunately I failed on both accounts, but I probably didn't put enough into it. I occasionally run by our old house and when I do, I always check on the status of that tree. It may be strange, but I become attached to trees.
     
  10. Greg_S_H

    Greg_S_H Executive Producer

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    That's how I am about this one, David. I think cloning is a little beyond me, and the close date happened faster than anticipated, so I'm just going to let this one go and buy a new one. I mean, I won't be shed of this house for a while, but it's still just best to let it be. I may still talk to the nursery guys just to know what it would take. $300 is no big deal, but kind of dumb for a $25 tree. $3000 would be nuts.
     
  11. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
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    The preparations for cloning are simple. Collect 10 - 20 short straight healthy branches (approx. 0.6" thick, roughly 6" long), cut on both sides. Start storing in dark environment (loosely wrapped in plastic) to take it with you.



    Cees
     
  12. Greg_S_H

    Greg_S_H Executive Producer

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    The first site I read talked about needing a greenhouse and hormones. I'll look into it more closely later tonight, using that information as a start.
     
  13. caaraa

    caaraa Auditioning

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    Another possible solution: you could clone it.

    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  14. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
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    'No, that's a professional and complicated manner (often involving planting it temporarily back in a living tree as well).

    The second way is much simpler and can be done by anyone with a garden.


    (The reason I'm not explaining this extensively now is this: yesterday I was struck by a broken system disk. This morning I bought a new disc and my PC is up and running again - but with hardly any user program installed. I'm very busy getting back to "normal". I'll fill you in later, if you still like the idea.)



    Cees
     
  15. Greg_S_H

    Greg_S_H Executive Producer

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    Cees, I'm glad you're having computer problems, because my eyes first fell on "broken disk" and I feared you were having health problems.


    I found a site in line with what you're talking about, and it sounded easy but for one thing. The last step said "in two years, it'll be ready to plant."
     
  16. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
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    It's the computer, not the person. Here's a rather optimistic article, claiming two weeks (from a plant in blossom even). I doubt it, to be frank. I would say: over a winter. But perhaps, in this period of the year it can happen right away.


    You need a few branches, cleanly cut to approx. 6 inches, roughly 0.6" thick, preferably with a knot or two in it (is that the word? "knot"? I mean those thicker places where other branches may sprout from).


    What I did (once) was different, taken from a book. I didn't plant them right away in the ground, but put them carefully inside a wooden box (the type I got two wine bottles in), with humus around it and loosely wrapped in plastic to avoid extensive drought (the "like a wrung out sponge" description in the article is nice). I started in October, collecting five or six branches from a tree (white-lilac shrub) that had fallen down and was dying. I left the branches over the winter inside that box in the dark, making sure it didn't get too warm (or too cold either). Perhaps it will sprout faster when you do it right now, in this time of the year.


    Next March (but perhaps you could try September - make two of those boxes and examine one first), I finally opened the box and three of the branches had developed roots. I carefully planted them in the garden and one (only one!) came up to be the 10 feet high tree it is now.

    At the same time, I also tried a few of the other methods, but they all failed. I believe I should have collected more branches than 6.


    The "grafting method" (by attaching grafts to existing trees) is clearly not the method of choice in this case.


    (I didn't use any root-hormones, but I cannot say anything vigorously against it.).



    Cees
     
  17. Greg_S_H

    Greg_S_H Executive Producer

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    I talked to my guy, and he said now is not the time of year to be moving it. But, an interesting fact: he still has a couple of vitex that came in at the same time I bought this one. So, basically, I can buy a sister tree. I think I'm going to do that, plant it, and still try the cutting idea with a few branches from my current. I can always find room for two of them.
     
  18. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
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    Yep. Wise.

    Never put your money on one number only. Spread your portfolio.

    (Folio = leaves!)






    Cees
     
  19. Greg_S_H

    Greg_S_H Executive Producer

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    By the way, I really recommend the vitex. I cut some branches a little under a week ago, and though they are now dried out, they were still very fragrant as I took them to the parkway for the Friday brush pickup. The tree does flower somewhat infrequently, but even the leaves smell great. From spring until the leaves drop sometime in late fall, you can bring out the scent just by watering it. It's smells like being in either a flower shop or a nursery.
     

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