Transplanting Oak Trees
So your moving to a different house but cannot bear to leave your beloved oak? You can take your oak with you! There is, of course, a proper way to do it, without the tree losing much water or sunlight while being moved.
The oak tree is undoubtedly the king of your yard. The strong old wood, the royal look, the way it stands like a monarch in all its splendor season after season, year after year. Home to many birds and an oasis to you after a long playing day of softball. There are so many memories in that oak tree. Now suppose you’re moving to different area, can you let all those wonderful memories go? Can you abandon your beloved oak?
Moving the Oak Tree
An oak tree is generally quite difficult to move. Comparatively, a pin oak or the red oak is easier to transplant. The younger the tree, the easier it will be to move it. Generally, trees younger than 60 years can be moved successfully.
The procedure starts in spring. You first need to prune the roots. Shovel a hole around the circumference of the tree and start pruning the roots. The reasons behind this being that an oak tree firstly, needs to grow the new roots closer to the trunk of the tree. This will make it simpler to transplant the oak. Otherwise, while transplanting the oak, the tree will end up losing a lot of its roots. Over the period of spring, we should continue pruning the roots and promote growth of new roots, closer and closer to the oak’s trunk. We can help the root growth along by giving the tree high-phosphorous foods. This will stimulate the growth of roots.
The New Spot
The best time to transplant the tree is during the latter part of summer and early fall. They say that a tree dies in the fall and begins a new life in the spring, and so your oak too can also start afresh in its new surroundings by spring time. Before you eject the tree from its old spot, it is important to get the new place ready. Find a nice roomy spot for the tree. Dig a hole of the same parameters as the old spot so the tree feels at home. Make sure that the hole is not too wide and just as deep as it was before. Fill the hole with garden soil or mulch. If the hole is deeper, it might take the tree some time to get its roots in and fix itself. This time may prove to be fatal for the tree. The sooner you can finish transplanting the oak, the better are the chances of its survival. Make sure that the spot is pest and fungus-free. The last thing your tree wants is its new house to already be occupied by its enemies.
Pick Up, Put Down
Start digging around the tree. Size up your oak to decide on how much further from the tree you will have to dig, keeping in mind to not damage the roots. While digging, try to see if the tree can be easily jerked out. If not, do not apply undue force. Continue digging. Once the tree is removed, tie up a big plastic bag over the roots. Transport the oak to its new destination and remove the bag without any jerks or causing damage to the roots. Lower the tree into its new home.
The first few days are very crucial. Due to the season, you may see no signs of life on the new tree till spring. Do not be disheartened. Tend to it as if it were alive. I’m sure it must be. Continue watering and adding compost to it till you are sure that the roots are used to its new ecosystem and the tree can fend for itself. Prune a few of the lower branches. This is done for the simple reason that the tree will require less energy to grow back if it was smaller. Continue to add mulch and fertilizers.
An oak tree is the pride of the place and deserves all the love and attention you can give it! Transplanting oak trees is not something very difficult, but proper care needs to be taken while doing so. And what’s better than to have your favorite oak back with you again at your new place!
By Arjun Kulkarni
Last Updated: 9/27/2011
Oak Tree Trimming
Oak tree trimming should be done during cold months when the tree is at the dormant state. Here is some helpful information on how to trim oak tree.
Oak tree is native to the northern hemisphere. It is either deciduous or evergreen, depending upon the cultivar. There are about 400 species of oak, which are identified from all over the world. A mature oak tree can grow up to 30 meter in height and spread up to 25 – 45 meter in diameter. Commercially, oak tree is grown for tannin, timber and other valuable plant products. Its hardness and high tannin content are responsible for resistance to fungal and pest attacks. Hence, wooden furniture made from oak trees are superior and highly priced.
In addition to durability, oak possesses characteristic grain markings that add to the aesthetic value of oak timber. Wine barrels made from oak tree have been used since a long time. Such oak barrels impart characteristic color, taste, flavor and aroma to the drinks. For preparation of oak barrels, French oak (Quercus robur) and American oak (Quercus rubra) are widely exploited. The bark of white oak is used therapeutically for making herbal medicines.
Caring Tips for Oak Tree
Oak tree requires proper caring so as to keep it healthy and disease-free. To mention a few, irrigation should be done lightly. Majority of oak species are adapted to dry summer conditions, hence they cannot tolerate heavy watering. One of the major problems with oak tree plantation is weeds. Considering this, mulching is necessary around the tree in order to control weeds. Speaking about fertilization, oak tree requires little or no fertilization. Hence, it can be maintained healthy even without adding fertilizer. Another tip for growing oak tree is careful and timely trimming of the tree branches.
Trimming of Oak Tree
The best time for trimming the oak tree is during winter months, when the tree is at the peak of dormancy. During this time, there are also less chances of pest infestation on the freshly cut surfaces. Oak tree can be trimmed by following certain safety tips. In case, the tree branches spread in proximity to power lines or the branches are very tall from the ground, it is always advisable to call a professional trimmer instead of pruning on your own.
For trimming an oak tree, the requirements are pole saw, ladder (for branches at a greater height), gloves and safety goggles. First, put on the safety gears to start trimming the oak tree. For trimming a branch from the matured oak tree, begin cutting from the underside of the branch. Ensure that you leave about one foot length between the cut and the main trunk. Stop cutting as the cut reaches to about a quarter of the branch dimension.
Make the second cut from the top of the branch at the same line with the first cut. Similar to the first cut, stop cutting as it reaches a quarter of the branch. Finally, remove the branch from the oak tree by completing the cut from the top side. In case of young and developing oak trees, trimming should be done regularly (every season) in order to maintain a proper shape of the canopy. As the tree reaches maturity trimming frequency should be kept minimum.
Though oak trees are resistant to insect and pest attacks, they are prone to various problems such as thinning and yellowing of foliage, dying of tree branches, growing of shelf mushroom in the main trunk, development of cavities and/or slimy patches in the trunk. Any of these symptoms indicate serious problems that may kill the tree. Landscaping around the oak trees can be done, provided that the basic requirements of oak trees are taken care of.
By Ningthoujam Sandhyarani
Last Updated: 9/22/2011