Relocating a European Mountain Ash

Discussion in 'Woody Plants' started by Scojo, Oct 20, 2006.

  1. Scojo

    Scojo Member

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    Hello. I have a tree like this in my yard, which is in a bad location and in need of being removed. I would rather dig it up an re-plant it in a better location. It stands about 12 feet with a trunk diameter of about 3 inches. Is there a time of year that is best for this operation? What sort of new spot preparation would you recommend. I think I found the right one, however the comment about a rabbit eating the berries makes me suspect. The lowest branches are 5 feet off the ground. Thank you for your insight.

    European Mountain Ash — Sorbus acuparia
    This tree is attractive to wildlife and also a favorite front-yard ornamental, with clusters of deep orange berries that hang on the tree until early winter. The fall foliage is also very pretty. Rabbits love to chew the stem, so remember to protect it with a 1/4-inch steel mesh screen ("hardware cloth") before winter.
     
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    I would suggest you consider removing it actually, as this is a pest species in this region. Maybe get something more novel instead from a retailer that stocks unusual trees, such as Cistus nursery on Sauvie Island.
     
  3. James D.

    James D. Active Member

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    If you would like to dig it up now would be the best time, just dig down a few feet 3-4 and around the tree about 5-6feet away from the trunk. Now the tricky part, you need to lift it without damaging the root ball and to get it into the new hole you would have to have dug. you should rent a mini backhoe or loader for this job, i know this is how i moved my very large viburnum last fall. wrapping the root ball in burlap will help contain the soil and some moisture. Good luck.
     
  4. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Barerooting when dormant and getting more of the roots better than going for intact soil ball with comparatively few roots being captured due to weight and size of ball.
     
  5. James D.

    James D. Active Member

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    But if you dig it to the bare roots you are going to damage all of the small feeding roots and the tree will have nothing to help it survive, gather as much soil and roots is the best method. If you do indeed get it down to its bare roots you are doing way more harm than good to the tree and you might as well have just cut it down in the first place.
     
  6. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    If you can manage an intact soil ball big enough to contain most of the fine roots, that is better. However, what often actually happens is that these fine roots are cut off, thus defeating much of the purpose of moving in soil instead of barerooted.

    "Recent work showed that up to 98% of the roots of field-grown trees are lost when dug conventionally (balled-in-burlap or with a tree spade). This is probably the single most important factor in understanding the marginal performance of plants grown conventionally in the field and dug and transported bare root or balled-in-burlap."

    -- C. Whitcomb, 'Establishment and Maintenance of Landscape Plants' (Lacebark Inc.)
     
  7. M. D. Vaden

    M. D. Vaden Active Member 10 Years

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    It's not too bad of tree in Portland. That's where we just moved from.

    In 25 years of landscape type work there, I never saw any weeds trees produced by those. It has to do with the requirements needed by the seeds.

    It's not a favorite of mine at all, but they are okay.

    You will need a rootball that will weigh about 250 lbs. Two men can cradle and slide the ball in a smooth tarp if you do it right.

    I'd do it this month or next. I've never lost a tree, and I'd take on the challenge if it were mine. That doesn't mean you will succeed for sure, but I think your chances are leaning heavily to the positive side.

    To save myself the long writing dialogue, I make this page to explain...

    http://www.mdvaden.com/transplanting.shtml

    I can't wait for an opportunity to transplant by hand again. I want to make a video of the steps.
     
  8. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    >In 25 years of landscape type work there, I never saw any weeds trees produced by those. It has to do with the requirements needed by the seeds.<

    Up here it pops up all over the place, including on stumps and pilings. By now I have probably pulled out hundreds of seedlings just by my lonesome.

    USDA Plants Database page, with map showing states where noted growing wild:

    http://plants.usda.gov/java/nameSearch?keywordquery=aucuparia&mode=sciname

    UW Burke Museum page, with map showing WA counties where noted growing wild:

    http://biology.burke.washington.edu/herbarium/imagecollection.php?Genus=Sorbus&Species=aucuparia
     
  9. Scojo

    Scojo Member

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    Thank you all for your great input. I will take it all into consideration.
     

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