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Transplanting saplings

 
Paul Jenny
Posts: 35
Location: Mishawaka , Indiana
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I have a young pine tree ( 10 inches tall ) that has taken up residence next to my driveway and garage. It has survived two Indiana winters and my wife and I have become attached to the little guy. It will not survive where it is. I want to transplant it in my backyard. I have never dug something up and transplanted it. My lawn is organic and I want to plant the tree that as well. I am concerned about doing it though. ( digging it up without damaging the roots, the new hole, size, fertilizer ...)  Any thoughts ?
 
paul wheaton
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Posts: 20464
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
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ruth stout always said "better to put a ten cent plant in a ten dollar hole than to put a ten dollar plant in a ten cent hole."

I prefer to transplant stuff in the spring as soon as the ground is done being frozen and can be dug.  But you can do this now if you really have a hankering. 

I would try to get as much soil around the tree as possible.  After it was moved, I would make sure it got plenty of water with a tablespoon of alaska fish fertilizer. 

 
Paul Jenny
Posts: 35
Location: Mishawaka , Indiana
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Thanks Paul.  I would like to wait until spring  but it is already 10 inches tall and right next to my driveway. I am sure some of its roots are under the driveway and I am real concerned about them getting damaged. I have never heard of Alaska fish fertilizer. I take it that does not mean using Alaskan caught salmon. If it is, that poor tree will have to stand in line ( behind  me ) to get some ! 
How deep do roots grow and how deep do I dig the new hole. I have heard that roots are usually twice as deep as the plant is tall. Is that true ?
 
paul wheaton
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Posts: 20464
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
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It depends on the tree.

In your case, most of the roots will be near the surface.  Dig about a foot deep and 18 inches wide.

 
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