Transplanting a tree is often a critical part of sewer pipe repair; a tree with fast-growing roots can quickly overwhelm a pipe that has even the smallest leak in it. Moving a tree away is sometimes the best way to protect the pipe and keep the tree. But to successfully move the tree, you need to prune the roots first, and that has to take place several months before the transplanting. The best timing is to transplant in spring but prune the roots in fall or early winter.
Autumn Is the Right Time
Late fall is really a good time to undertake root pruning. The tree has finished its yearly growth cycle, and if it's deciduous, it's dropped its leaves. Or at least most of them; enough so that you won't be dealing with piles of dead leaves all around the roots. Autumn gives the tree enough time to send out smaller feeder roots that will help it become established once transplanted. The feeder roots need time to grow a bit before the tree is moved to its new location.
Not All the Cuts Will Produce Feeder Roots
Note that you may have to cut all the roots at the dripline, or the invisible line on the ground that lines up with the edge of the tree's canopy, but not all of the cut roots will produce feeder roots. The older the tree and the thicker the root at the point where you cut it, the less likely it is that the root will produce a feeder root. And yes, that means that older trees, which are more likely to have thicker, older roots, have a harder time with being transplanted.
Doing It Yourself Could Be Dangerous for the Tree
Where you cut also makes a difference; you need to prune the root as close to the dripline as possible (meaning as far away from the trunk as possible while not going past the dripline). And there are other restrictions that make root pruning a rather dangerous task for someone trying to do it on their own. It's better to call a tree service that can prune the roots for you. You may want to find a service that will do both the pruning and then, months later, the transplanting. You can have two different tree services do the pruning and the transplanting, but it's often easier to hire one company for all the work.
For more information on tree pruning, contact a professional near you.
Proper tree care is an essential part of maintaining your property's appearance and overall well-being. After all, neglected trees can quickly become safety hazards if limbs should fall and damage your property. That's why it's important that you know how to take care of your trees. Luckily, this site is here to help. With the information on this site, you'll be able to better understand the different needs of each type of tree on your land. That way, you can tailor your tree care accordingly and you'll know when you should call a tree service for more help and ongoing care.