How To Transfer Seedlings

Information on finding new tree growth and transplanting the seedlings. Where to find, how to dig up and details on transplanting are discussed.

There are some landscaping projects that can be done with very little or no money that will produce magnificent results in coming years. Transplanting trees, for example, can cost next to nothing if you get the trees from your own backyard. We've all heard the expression, "The apple doesn't fall far from the tree." It's true. Look around any large tree and you'll usually see small trees coming up all around it. That's because seeds fall from trees, leaves or pods then settle close by to grow. Some of the seedlings will not survive since the large tree will use up most of the nutrients in the soil for that area. Rescue the tiny trees plus grow beautiful landscaping elsewhere by transplanting them.

From the final frost of the winter until about 8 weeks before the next winter the seedlings can be transplanted. Using a shovel make a circle around the seedling. Go as deeply as you can with each thrust of the shovel. After you have a complete circle around the seedling use the shovel to bring the entire ball, roots and all, out of the ground. Small trees don't have a deep root system but try to sever as few of the roots as possible. The tree should be at least ten to twelve inches tall for transplanting. Smaller trees can be moved but rarely survive without constant care. Wrap the ball of dirt and roots in burlap and tie it at the base of the tree. This will help support the roots and keep the moisture in.

Dig a hole slightly deeper than the ball of the tree. If the ground is dry pour a cup of water in the hole before filling with tree and soil. Some gardeners apply a root powder to the seedlings to help them adapt to their new surroundings and continue to grow. Fill the dirt back in while continually adjusting the tree to keep it standing. Tamp the soil down well around the tree.

In order to keep the tree upright while it takes root tie twine around limbs to hold it in the ground. Use four stakes or sticks to tie the twine onto for securing. There should be no slack in the twine on any of the four sides. Tie the twine high on one side of the stalk. Pull outward and push stake into the ground, making sure that the tree is not leaning or bent. Do the same for the other three pieces of twine. If necessary adjust the stakes until the twine is tight and the tree is straight. Tie brightly colored ribbon on the twine so that the tree and twine is noticeable to others.

Water the tree and use a plant food to help the tree grow quickly. Read package instructions and choose a food that is good for outdoor trees. Do not overuse the plant food assuming that the tree will grow even faster. Too much food can weaken or even kill the tree. Normally plant food is given once every four to six weeks.

Plant the trees in a row by allowing two feet between trees that don't get gigantic, four feet between those that do.

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