So you’ve planted and cared for your young tree either in a nursery or elsewhere, but now what? You need to transport them to their new homes, but how do you go about that? And how do you care for them once they’re there?
There are a lot of things that can go wrong in this stage of a young tree’s development, transplant shock, pests and diseases, damage in transit, to name a few.
This guide will show you how to avoid these dangers. These useful tips and tricks will give you the know-how to transport your young tree safely, and help them acclimatize to their new surroundings.
Young Tree Care
Caring for young trees can be a challenging task at the best of times. They need a lot of love to thrive. Regular, deep watering and soil moisture monitoring will help them develop a strong root system and promote luscious green leafage.
A watering schedule will go a long way to helping provide an appropriate supply to your youngster and avoiding under or overwatering.
Another worthwhile practice is to keep the base of the tree clear of any other foliage like grass or weeds. This will allow the sapling to soak up all the water and nutrients it needs without having to compete with other plant life.
Herbicides and pesticides should be avoided as they can actually cause many issues with the plants’ development, such as abnormal growth, root damage, discoloration, and even death.
The Importance of Pruning
Pruning removes dead or dying branches, helps your tree focus its energy where you want it, and allows you to guide your tree to its vertical potential while retaining its stability.
Through a tree’s first 5 years, with careful pruning, you can establish the central leader of the tree. This is what will become the main trunk and will provide a stable base for all the diverging branches to grow from.
A well-kept sapling will grow to be a sturdy, healthy mature tree.
Time to Go
So your young tree is looking healthy and ready for transport. Whether it’s going out to a farm, back to nature, or it’s part of a new landscaping project, you’ll need to know how to transport your saplings without risking their overall health.
The first thing to consider is what you’re going to transport your young trees in. There are a few options here, from pickup trucks and trailers to medium and large vans. Anything big enough to fit your trees and have enough space to secure them.
The best time to do this depends on the type of trees they are. Deciduous trees are best transplanted in early spring or late fall, evergreens in early fall. Fruit trees can be moved in early spring before the new growing season.
The main thing to ensure is that they are in their dormant period when transplanted. This is so the tree is not as dependant on a constant supply of water from its root system, and so is less susceptible to transplant shock.
Transport them flat on their side with some rope tied gently around the branches, bundling them upwards. A large sheet or tarp covering them and weighed down at either side will help prevent them from moving around too much while you’re driving.
You don’t want your trees rolling around and getting beat up.
The sheet you use to cover them should also protect the trees from the wind as you’re driving them around. This is not quite as necessary if you are transporting them in a covered vehicle, but you should still use some method of securing them in place.
No matter how secure the trees are, you should take care when transporting them. Don’t drive too fast, be careful on bumpy roads and going around corners, and be mindful of the wind.
Once you get to your destination, it’s time to get your young trees situated in their new home.
Tending to New Transplants
A potentially damaging, but not uncommon, problem that can occur when transplanting trees is ‘transplant shock’. This is where the roots of the tree aren’t sufficient in its new environment to keep it in good health.
Transplant shock can make the new transplant vulnerable to disease, or insect infestation.
Overcoming transplant shock can be as simple as maintaining a watering schedule so the tree can establish a strong root system in its new environment.
Landscaping professionals can help you in this as they have expertise and experience in dealing with these issues.
Even if your young trees avoid transplant shock, proper watering is recommended to help them settle in and develop their new roots.
The stability of the transplanted trees can also become an issue, depending on whether they are placed in an area exposed to winds. If this is the case, you can stake them in place but be careful not to use too rigid a material.
Some flexibility can help develop a sturdy base as the root system strengthens and the tree grows.
It is inadvisable to use fertilizer on new transplants for the first 2-3 years of them being moved to their new environment. This is because the fertilizer would be ineffectual since the roots have not had time to grow.
The efficacy of using mulch cannot be underestimated.
A 3-4 inch thick layer around the base of a tree and spread out to below the furthest reach of branches, whether newly transplanted or not, has huge benefits to the health and well-being of the tree.
A mulch of wood chips, leaves, or pine bark will help to conserve moisture as well as tone down temperature shifts in the soil. It will also protect the bark and reduce the risk of weed growth, meaning the tree doesn’t have to compete for water.
Do it Right
Transporting and caring for a young tree is a lot of work, but if it’s done with care and attention the results can be wonderful.
If you’re considering transplanting trees from a nursery into a new garden or plot, you can get a quote from industry professionals who you can be sure will be knowledgeable and experienced.