The best time to transplant a tree depends on the species/tree type, its dormant period, and the ground conditions. Similar to pruning, a good rule of thumb for transplanting a tree is before the frost in late fall or after the frost, but before new growth, in early spring.
Before transplanting, determine where the tree will move, its spacing and water requirements, and whether it prefers sun or shade. Once you have found the perfect spot, make sure to call the Dig Alert phone number for Underground Service Alert of Southern California at 811 or you can visit their website at www.digalert.org. It’s a free and easy solution for safe excavation with the program motto of “Call Before You Dig”. It helps to avoid the dangerous possibility of shoveling into your electric, cable, or gas lines.
Once the area is determined safe, dig the new hole before digging up your tree for transplanting. Because your tree will lose a significant amount of its root system, it’s important to make sure the new hole is at least twice as wide as the root-ball.
Once the transfer hole is prepared and ready, determine where to start digging around the tree. Do not dig right at the base of the tree! Based on the maturity of the tree, it’s important to determine and preserve the majority of mass roots when digging it up. Start a few feet away from the base to help you judge.
Plant the tree in the new hole, keeping the base of the trunk slightly above ground. Once in place, backfill with soil just under the root collar and water immediately. While your tree adjusts to the new location, it’s important to keep the soil moist. If you need help, call The Beaver Tree Company at (805) 966-0975.