We've got a bush area choc full of Speckled Alder (SA). We've also got an orchard with no nitrogen fixers yet.
This SA bush produces so many new little baby trees and it's so thick we want to take a bunch of the small ones over to our orchard, and in the place of the small SA's we want to start growing a food forest amongst it.
I haven't dug up any yet, the ground hasn't thawed at all, but can the SA handle being dug up and transplanted? I'm thinking only the ones that are around about 1m(3-4').
I have moved a couple small alder saplings successfully; a year on, mine are still growing happily. I moved them around this time of year, before they started to leaf out. In fact, in my case, I didn't even dig them out, but just pulled them up--though I imagine digging them up would be less stressful for them. I say go for it, as soon as the ground is thawed enough to get them up.
Hau, Rob; Like Galadriel says, do your moving of these saplings before leaf out, you will have better success. Digging them will allow you to bring more roots along with. If no roots are present just plant and water in with some B-12 water, make this easily by dissolving a couple of Vitamin B-12 Tabs into one gallon of warm water, let this cool then shake and pour, easy peasy. No need for rooting hormones, the things will grow roots quite easily.
B-12 functions as a stimulant for roots, it is very beneficial for transplanting anything, it also does stimulate rooting of sicon stock being rooted.
Yes I would carefully rinse the clay away until you can see if any roots are forming.
If they aren't I'd score the bark and soak in some willow water or use rootone for really aggressive rooting action.
Hazelnut roots fairly well if first year wood is used for propagation. I have done some using willow water as the rooting medium then watered in with a mix of B-12 and willow water. This method works fairly well.
For most rooting of difficult to propagate plants, trees, bushes, I use a 6% Rooting powder, this is a commercial nursery item, the Rootone you can buy at places like walmart is only 3%.
Just about every grocery store has a vitamin shelf or three, on it will be some B-12 and even B-Complex (all the B vitamins). What I do is dissolve 10 of these tablets in 1 Liter of luke warm water and then dilute 10:1 when ready to use some in plantings.
Not as expensive as buying the vitamin(s) from a chemist or nursery and just as effective.
I like to use B-12 water any time I am putting out transplants of anything for the first watering in. It give the transplants a jump start on new root production.