In Reply to: Transplanting trees posted by Hank on January 27, 2018 at 09:33:05:
It is great to see others so interested in planting and transplanting trees. My first exposure to this was with my mother's father (my grandfather). He started evergreens in central Michigan from seeds in his own seed beds in the late 1930's for conservation. I always admired looking at some of the mature trees, many still standing today.
In the early 70's I bought a few evergreen seedlings from the local cooperative extension service and planted them on the perimeter of our 3/4 acre. We lost some to the lawn mower and some to drought.
On our current property that WAS 6 acres (now 3 acres) my mother helped me plant several hundred evergreen seedlings, Norway Spruce, Blue Spruce, White Spruce and Austrian Pine. In another area I planted some Black Walnut trees. She watched them grow until her passing in 2001.
We purchased the adjacent 6 acres of farm land and then an additional 5 acres of farm land next to that. It was a great place to play and to plant trees. I let nature develop a young oak woods along the fence rows and then "harvested" some with a rented tree spade on a skid steer for the yard around the house.
I found that my survival rate was best when transplanting in the fall. I watered them every week until winter started using a 250 gallon farm tank in my one ton Chevy. The trees were done growing for the season and the shock of being moved was less stressful to them.
I was moving some trees a quarter mile. I selected and marked all the natural seeded trees that I wanted to move, Marked the locations where they were going and then dug the first hole with the spade. Then, I moved the first tree and dug the next hole taking the dirt to fill hole from the first tree moved, etc, etc.
My loss rate was zero doing this versus about 5% for some trees that I bought from a nursery.
Some of my early evergreens are now 35-40 feet tall. Some of my oaks are 20-25 feet tall. I have had to remove a couple evergreens because they got too big near the house and garage. I'm also losing some Austrian Pines to disease. They will go to the backyard fire pit some evening.