Experts and BHG readers answer.
How do I relocate a mature Dwarf Alberta Spruce?
I need to move 2 mature Dwarf Alberta Spruces that have outgrown their location. The are about 7 1/2 feet high. They have been in growing int their location for at least 25 years. Any idea what the root system looks like? Do they have a tap root? I have read spring is the best time to plant. ( I live in central New York State). Any suggestions about transplanting these trees?
Tree roots are mostly in the top 12 to 18 inches of soil. They typically spread at least 3 or 4 times the width of the tree's branching structure. It's likely that the roots of these Alberta spruces spread 10 to 15 feet in all diretions from the tree. If the trees have not been moved in a long time, it may help to root prune them this fall to encourage root branching and redevelopment within the area close to the trunk before you finally attempt to transplant them. The wider the rootball that you move with the trees, the greater your chances of success. For a tree this well established, you may need to use a tree spade. Early spring or early fall are both good times to transplant spruces.