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Discussion Starter #1
well to make a longer story short I knocked all the old honey locust out of my back yard. orginally I had three left for shade. but as you all know locust is not good anyhow. we pushed em out yesterday afternoon and hopefully this will be the last time I have to plant grass and fix the ground back to decent shape. dad said about getting some shade trees and planting back there. like the ones that you see in the commercials. I would really like to transplant a white oak that is growing in a area that it is not needed. the year I moved into the place I am living at now I noticed a little foot tall white oak that was growing at the base of one of my porch posts. I figured a rabbit or deer would have had it nipped off quick being that low but guess what it grew. now I have a white oak that is about ten foot tall. I want to transplant this to the back yard. but I was wondering do any of you guys know how big the root ball might be? and when would be the best time to transplant it? I was thinking late winter or early next spring but I am not sure. any thoughts or ideas would be appreciated. if you guys do not think it will transplant well being that tall and that far along i might as well pull it out now because it is starting to become a problem. I just do not want to go through the trouble moving it and then killing it. and if you guys do not think it would be worth it what is a decent tree that I can put in there? I was thinkin about putting in either a black cherry tree or some kind of fruit trees but not sure. I would really like something that is gonna grow quick and have something that would provide a canopy for shade but not sure if that will happen. any thoughts?
 

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Ive always used this formula and have always had good luck one foot of rootball for every inch in diamater at the base of the tree...for example if it measures 4 inches around about a foot above the ground you should have a 4 foot rootball..you might need a power spade to do it correctly..good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
is this circumfrance or diameter?
 

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The roots of the tree are as wide as teh limbs of the tree. A 2 inch caliper tree may have a 6' spread. You do not need to take all of the roots, just the main ones. The ends of the feeder roots will grow back, just prune the tree back a little after transplant. When you start getting into trees with a large caliper, you are talking some large root balls and a lot of weight. If the oak sapling is a "whip" (skinny, tall trunk) you may not have a very big root ball. A good standard is go by the drip line (end of foliage/branches)of the tree. I would wait until fall or spring to transplant the tree.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
the actual trunk is about 2" in diameter. bout half of my wrist. it actually has two trunks comin out. one main one and two years ago it sprouted a lil sucker off the side but it is really only about a half inch in dia. I will move it this fall then. I guess support it with twine? I really would like to keep it since it is doing so well. really all the oaks in the woods behind my house are red oaks. there are some white oaks but not many. I thought it would be dead this year the gypsy moths really hit it hard last year. actually hit it twice. it grew back after the first attack and then got hit again.
 

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You should be OK moving it either this fall or next spring. I would prune off the sprout so that it grows straight and tall. Don't support it with twine which may cut into the bark as the tree sways. If it needs support use short sections of garden hose around the tree, run wires through them and attach to stakes. Not too tight though, the tree must be able to move some in order to gain strength. A little mulch would be good to help retain moisture and don't forget to water next summer.
 

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For most trees shade trees I would agree with all the above, but Oak trees have tap roots, not surface roots. A 10' tall Oak could have a tap root that is 10' deep. I wouldn't suggest moving it at all.
 

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As jayjaysin said, white oaks have taproots. May be problematic to transplant. They don't do well if the taproot is damaged, and I doubt you have a shovel long enough to get the whole tap root.

For reference, I dug up a seedling hickory that was no more than 4 inches tall- the taproot was easy 2 ft long! Same with witch-hazel.

That being said, for all that time and effort involved w/digging this specimen, you could spend @ $100-$200 and get a really nice, balled & burlapped or container planted white oak at least 6 ft tall. I bought an "October Glory" Red maple last year, in a 7 gal container, that was easy 12 ft tall, for $100. They had similar sized white oaks right next to these maples for the same price. This was at a small "re-whole-saler" @ Hagerstown, MD.

Good luck!

BH
 

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I've got no idea what kind of soil conditions you have but in my area a wild hardwood tree of that size would be an impossibilty to preserve. Just too many rocks to get down that deep and you have no idea which way the tap root is going, not straight down because of the rocks.

I have heavy backhoes and over the years tried to move a lot of oak and hickory from the woods near my house to my farm property that were in the 3/4-1" range maybe 6-8' tall. I dug as deep as I could trying to extract it in one ball with the hoe, never went deep enough or cut the root as it veered off to the side, not a one survived. Now I only attempt them if they are smaller than a pencil. Those I can get deep enough with a pick and follow the root with my hand.

Right now I have an ash in a bucket about a 1/2" thick and 4' tall. The soil was soft and I thought I could get it. Well I got most of it, it looks dead with 2 partially alive leaves remaining. I do "think" it will survive and recover next year, but to look at it now it doesn't look alive.
 

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I have successfully transplanted a few wild grown oaks, maple, ash, dogwood, pine or spruce trees. Worth the effort? Hmmm . . . not so sure. The deciduous were in the 5-6 foot range and were transplanted when still dormant in early spring. I have one beautiful red oak I am particularly proud of.
Evergreens were in the 18-24 inch range and they're easy. Oaks are the hardest because of the aforementioned tap root. Don't you wish you waould have asked this question have a height ago? lol
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I guess I might as well tear it out then. I can't have it growing in the location it is. I figured if I could save it then I would but if not it has to come out. might as well be now before I finish the back yard that way I can fix that spot in the yard at the same time. thanks for the info fellas I surely do appreciate it.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
question. I have some private property up in the mountian that our family owns. it was clear cut about 8 years ago now and there are allways new tulip poplar trees sprouting up and they grow fairly quick. I was wondering can I transplant one of those farily easy? myabe get a small one that is only a few feet tall and transplant it? I have allways like the looks of tulip poplar and they grow pretty fast from what I have seen. ideas thoughts?
 

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Well it's a tap root deciduous tree. You need to get a small one. They get 100 feet tall and drop lower branches. Flowering does not occur until they are quite large.
 
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