Earthworks WNC

Evergreen Transplantation Guide

Trees can feel like permanent fixtures in your landscape, but there are times when relocating them is necessary. Whether the tree is in a less-than-ideal location, has outgrown its space, or needs to be moved for a redesign, transplanting an evergreen can raise questions. 

This guide will discuss the best time to transplant, the differences between evergreen and deciduous tree transplantation, and offer tips for a successful process.

Ideal Timing for Evergreen Transplanting

  • Early spring before bud break
  • Late summer to early fall for optimal root reestablishment

Evergreen vs. Deciduous Transplantation

  • Evergreen trees are generally heavier and bulkier due to year-round foliage

Transplanting Evergreen Trees and Shrubs

  • Preparing the new location and hole
  • Determining tree size and seeking professional help for larger trees
  • Digging the root ball and moving the tree
  • Planting, watering, and post-transplant care

Preparing the Plant for Transplantation

  • Watering before and after the transplant
  • Pruning roots for a new root ball

Soil Preparation for Transplanting

  • Digging the hole for the root ball
  • Mixing biochar, compost, and soil to improve soil health

Post-Transplant Maintenance and Care

  • Limit transplant shock by keeping the tree well-watered
  • Mulching to retain moisture, control weeds, and provide nutrients
  • Avoiding mulch buildup around the trunk to prevent fungal pathogens and rot

Monitoring Tree Health After Transplanting

  • Observe the tree for signs of stress or shock, including yellowing or dropping foliage and stunted growth.
  • Inspect the tree for pests or diseases and address any issues promptly.
  • If necessary, provide additional support, such as staking, to stabilize the tree during its initial growth period after transplanting.

Fertilizing and Pruning Transplanted Evergreens

  • Wait until the second growing season to fertilize a newly transplanted evergreen to avoid overstimulating the tree
  • Use a slow-release, balanced fertilizer to promote healthy growth and recovery
  • Prune any dead or damaged branches to encourage new growth and maintain the tree’s overall health and appearance

Long-term Care for Transplanted Evergreens

  • Continue to monitor the tree’s health, providing water, fertilizer, and pruning as needed.
  • Gradually reduce supplemental watering as the tree establishes itself in its new location, typically within 1-3 years, depending on the tree size and species.
  • Maintain a consistent care routine to promote the long-term health and vitality of your transplanted evergreen tree.

Final Thoughts

Transplanting evergreens can be a challenging but rewarding process. With careful planning, preparation, and post-transplant care, you can successfully relocate your evergreen tree and enjoy its beauty in its new location for years to come. 

Remember to monitor the tree’s health, provide necessary care, and seek professional assistance to ensure the best possible outcome for your transplanted evergreen.

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