Properly Managing Tree Transplants During The Summer

By: Ross Latham

Summer is not too late to transplant trees into your yard. But transplanting can be a stressful time for a tree, and it has to be managed properly if this tree is going to have a chance of survival. In this article I want to take a look at some of the factors that will determine if a tree will make it during the transplant, and then the proper maintenance points to apply once it’s there.

First off the better condition of the tree you are working with, the better chance of a healthy transplant. A young tree can resume growth very quickly after being transplanted, but sometimes an older tree will have a hard time at this. A tree already in the advanced stages of decline has reduced chances of surviving transplantation. A professional tree transplant specialist can assist you to select a tree that will easily survive the process. Some species tend to withstand transplanting better than others, and this could be a factor the specialist would know about and take into account.

Another thing to bear in mind is that a specialist will have the right equipment for the job. Planting a flower could require just a spade and a patch of good dirt, but a tree is a whole other picture.

Once your tree is successfully transplanted, you will have to tend to the normal points of maintenance. Your tree might need shade or direct sunlight. Some need more water than others. This is something you can research on your own depending on the tree you are dealing with, or consult your tree transplant specialist for details on the type of tree you have transplanted into your yard.

Now we should take up a very important factor for summer--hydration. Trees planted in the summer stand the risk of poor health due to dehydration, and in some cases this can really be the end of the tree you’ve just transplanted. In addition to regular watering your tree will also need an antitranspirant or antidesiccant.

Antitranspirants are compounds that are applied to the leaves of plants to reduce transpiration. They’re applied to prevent the tree from drying out too quickly. An antidesiccant is a compound to reduce dehydration. Really there is little difference between these two terms and they’re used pretty interchangeably, so have that in mind when you are looking for which type to use. Using an antitranspirant or antidesiccant can help to decrease dehydration and even protect against certain tree diseases. Bear in mind that certain antidessicants can be toxic to certain trees, so it’s something to read closely on the label. If you have any question on this, consult a tree transplant specialist right away.

The above should be a basic guide to getting you started on transplanting your trees successfully in the summertime and maintaining the trees you already have planted. Good luck with your tree transplanting efforts.

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Ross Latham is owner of Big Trees Inc. ( in Snohomish, WA, one of the largest Seattle tree nurseries (see inventory at, specializing in tree transplanting. Visit us at

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