Caring for your Transplanted Trees

  • When larger trees are dug and transplanted, they often lose a large percentage of their root structure resulting in limited growth for the first two to three years. It is not uncommon therefore, during this period of time to notice limited 'leader' growth on transplanted trees. An easy to remember ‘Rule of Thumb’ goes like this;
    “The first year they 'sleep'.
    The second year they 'creep'.
    The third year they 'leap'."
  • Another note on roots that you should be aware of is that they tend to be very superficial. This means that the tree should not be planted lower than grade and then back filled or mulched heavily around the trunk. If you do, your tree will not be happy and will tend to suffocate! Because of the superficial roots, you will also want to avoid disturbing the roots of the tree by adding plant material at or near it’s base.

  • When transplanting any plant material, it is necessary to keep it well watered. The same is certainly true with a tree of any species. Especially is this the case in the Okanagan where the hot summer sun can dry things out in a hurry!! Be sure to water your transplanted trees regularly. The amount of water required will depend somewhat upon the weather and even more so upon the soil type (i.e. sandy/gravely soils will not hold the water near as effectively as clay or soils with a high fiber content). In any case, be certain not to let the soil around the trees dry out! Usually, a good ‘soaking’ once or twice a week should be sufficient but you must use discretion to avoid letting the tree drying out on the one hand, or drowning it on the other!

  • There is always a great temptation to 'push' the tree with fertilizers. DON’T DO IT!! Using ‘Bone Meal’ or a ‘Transplant Solution’ at time of planting is a great idea as they are high in phosphorus which stimulates root development. If after the first year you opt for a commercial fertilizer, better choose something low in nitrogen with a higher percentage of phosphorus and potassium (i.e. 5-15-10), as higher amounts of nitrogen tend to give elongated shoots that may not be adequately supported yet by the trees root structure.


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1705 Swainson Rd.
Kelowna, B.C. V1P 1C5
1 250 826 8733

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