I built my house 10 years ago and now I have a new neighbor. I got 2 mature 7 years old persimmon trees that I planted a couple of feet beyond my property line based on the yard stick marker. I decided to move them last evening. I will tell you what, it was a big task. Their trunks was around 5-6" wide and their tap root were huge and deep. We got a good rain the day before so the ground was soft and not too messy. Thanks the lord. I dug as deep as I could and saved as much roots as possible but they were around 1-2" in diameter. I pruned them off at 2 feet long. Lesson learned here. I am pretty sure if Alan was here, he could have help me save more of the root systems. I think the two persimmon trees (Rossyanka Hybrid and Jerry Lehman U-20A American ) will survive because they are still somewhat dormant with just swelling buds. I took a couple of Motrin afterward because my 50-ish body told me to do so.
So truth to that. Motrin is a very good anti-inflamatory drug but can cause bleeding ulcers and thin the blood a bit. I could have ask my new neighbor if I can leave the two trees where they were a couple feet over his property line because there wasn’t a yard stick that mark the property line when I first built my house. I figured that I could move them now before the reach 20 feet tall and don’t have to wait for him to tell me to move them.
I just noticed this post. Thanks for thinking of me. I actually get called on by customers a lot who decide to change their landscape and move established trees around and those aren’t calls I look forward to.
I would not like to move a decent sized persimmon because with their lack of root fiber they are notoriously difficult to move- definite candidates for root ball moving, like pears.
I have a client right now whose been in contact with me to move some 20 year old apple and plum trees within the next few weeks. They are going to move some huge balls and have a quote for something like $5,000 per tree. Not work I do as you need to move tons of soil with the trees.
I very happy that the two large persimmon trees pulled through and pushed leaves after being moved. They may abort their fruits this year due to the stress of moving and their large tap roots chopped off.
@alan I need to move two ten year old apple trees but first wanted your advice. Each is 4.5 inch diameter trunk, eight feet tall (from my height limiting pruning). Geneva 30 rootstock. Dripline is 12 foot diameter circle. Both multi-grafted to ten or so rare heirloom apple varieties. I need to move them to an open area where I can fence them off from deer and squirrels. In present spot squirrels could jump from nearby trees over any fence.
What do you think of using a large Vermeer spade digger? I’m willing to pay the price if they would likely survive. I realize I might lose a year or so while they recover- or is it longer than that?
A client of mine employed a tree spade to move some older and larger apples than that last fall and it worked out fine- but I think they used the larger of two common tree spade sizes- however the spade operator will have a lot more experience than me and if the person is trustworthy you can run with the advice he provides. Be sure you remove the flowers next spring, mulch the trees a foot beyond the rootball and don’t let them dry out- either the ball or the soil one foot out and beyond where the important new feeder roots will mostly form.
If the soil is compacted make sure soil is loosened at least a couple feet beyond the root-ball and make sure the spade doesn’t glaze the bordering soil when digging the hole trees go into, even if the soil is otherwise soft.
Alternatively, you could hire a small crew and move them bare root, which also works out well with larger apple trees, but I wouldn’t consider that as an option if soil is heavy. Too much work bare rooting big trees in clay.