Nurse, Scalpel: A Five-Point Guide to Transplanting Trees and Saplings

Trees are adaptable, but they’re still prone to illness and ailment under stressful conditions. Transplanting, unfortunately, definitely numbers among the most stressful conditions in life. After all, think about how you feel when you have to move, and your roots aren’t even getting ripped out of the ground. So, yeah … trees don’t like it.

That doesn’t mean they won’t come through a transplant just fine, as long as you know what you’re doing.

So what are the best practices to ensure the tree remains safe and happy? Let’s take a look.

1. Know Your Tree’s Preferences

A sycamore is different from a live oak, which is different from a cypress, and so on. Each of these trees exhibits different leaf types, growth patterns, and site preferences. If you don’t know what they are, there’s a good chance you’ll move your tree to the wrong place.

Accordingly, never move a tree before thoroughly researching its needs. That means taking into account water, light, nutrients, and more. You should also know its common pests (for instance, do deer like its bark, and will they have access to it?) to avoid leaving it vulnerable.

2. Ready the New Site

Dig the hole for the tree’s new home before you remove it from its current location. Make the tree wide enough to fit the entire root ball (see Step 4), and leave the excavated earth nearby to fill in immediately after planting.

3. Water the Day Before

Transplanting involves trauma, but you can reduce it by making the exit process gentler. To that end, water the tree thoroughly the day before. This will soften the ground and loosen the soil around the roots, which lessens the chance that the tree’s smaller capillary roots will get ripped off in the move.

4. Prune the Roots

You can’t move a tree’s entire root system, so you’ll have to prune it. Mark off a zone around the tree, giving 10-12 inches of root ball diameter for every inch of trunk. Then chop through the roots with a sharp spade or loppers when needed. Remove the tree, bury it in its new site, and water thoroughly again.

5. Get Help If You Need It

If your tree is bigger, or if you just don’t feel equipped to move it on your own, it’s time to call in the pros. Experienced arborists such as those here at Premier Tree Solutions can help you find the best site for your new or relocating tree. Whether it’s an emergency or a simple gardening goal, contact us today. We’re here for you!

Bye Bye Bugs: What You Can Do Now to Prep for Summer

Raise your hand if you’ve heard the phrase “beneficial insect” bandied about in recent years? Us too, and it’s definitely true that some creepy-crawlies are our friends. Ladybugs, mantises, spiders, ground beetles, midges, and wasps all do their part to keep the environment free of pests – and that’s before we even talk pollinators, which are crucial to a thriving world.

Don’t let that fool you, though: There are plenty of nasty bugs out there yet. If you don’t take care to protect your trees from them, you’ll be sorry.

Here’s the quick rundown on how to prep for summer and keep your trees shipshape all season long.


Say No to Pruning

Most trees want to be pruned in winter or early spring. It’s true that some fruit trees benefit from a light summer pruning, but for the most part, you should avoid whipping out the shears this time of year. Pruning essentially means making a wound in the tree’s protective layer, making it easier for pests to get in and infect it. Unless you have to prune to get rid of a weakened branch or pest problem, avoid it.

Use Natural Sprays

Protecting trees from pests isn’t a “new” idea. Since ancient times, people have sprayed their landscape and orchard specimens to control bugs, using a variety of natural substances. These include salt and essential oils that kill pests, mineral oils that protect bark, diatomaceous earth that desiccates pests, and more.

Enlist Friendly Species!

Hey, remember when we talked about beneficial insects? Well, they can help! So can birds and bats. Put up homes for flying friends, including birdhouses, bat boxes, beetle banks, and flower gardens. This will attract lots of natural pest-eaters, keeping your trees safe and your garden buzzing all summer long.

Get Help from an Expert

If you’re facing a pest problem and just don’t know what to do, it might be time to call in the experts. Don’t just pick a name out of the proverbial phonebook at random, though … no one wants to be that homeowner.

Instead, choose a licensed, insured and experienced arborist like the ones here at Premier Tree Solutions, and we’ll help you decide on the best decision for your trees. All you have to do is pick up the phone and call 404.252.6448 (or 404.569.8897 for an emergency), and we’ll “bee” right there.


Get to know Georgia’s beautiful array of trees and how you can take care of your own! Each month, we feature some of the most popular trees in the state. This month, we are showcasing the laurel oak (Quercus laurifolia). Learn all about the laurel oak below!




















































Premier Tree is your local source for professional tree services in the metro Atlanta area. We provide tree removal, trimming, pruning, stump grinding, and more. Check out all of the services we offer, and contact us today for a free consultation!