How to Move a Tree

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” – Chinese Proverb

If you have a great tree in your back or front yard, you may wish you could take it with you when you move.  You might be able to.  It depends on the size of the tree and how far away you are moving. While Square Cow Movers doesn’t move trees, you may be able to move a smaller tree yourself or higher a professional company to move a larger tree.

Be advised that if you are moving to a different state, there may be certain laws that prohibit bringing a particular plant across state lines.  You can find more info about moving plants and what can and can’t cross state lines here.

If you are moving a shorter distance and are interested in having a very large tree moved, you might need to consult an arborist, landscape professional or tree transplanting service.  Many big trees have a large network of roots or rootball under the ground which can make the tree even heavier than you think.

Moving a smaller tree a shorter distance is something you may be able to do on your own. Even if you aren’t moving homes, you may wish to move a tree to a different location in your yard.  The tree may outgrow it’s current space or your family might want to put in a deck or a pool, etc. We have compiled a few guides that give detailed instructions about moving trees.

  • This guide is specifically focused on transplanting a young tree, a sapling.
  • Use a tarp to drag the tree and it’s rootball to the new location with this method.  Alternatively you could bundle up the tree and rootball in the tarp and place in the back of a pick-up truck if moving a shorter distance.
  • This quick article gives tips for transplanting trees and shrubs.  An important note, don’t plant  a tree too deep to avoid rot.
  • For an extensive look at how to move a prized tree, consider reading this guide written in question and answer format.  The author even gives an idea of the cost of moving a tree if hiring professionals.
  • Visual learners may appreciate this photo heavy how-to which estimates the total time required to transplant a small tree at around 2 hours.

Good luck with moving your tree!

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