How to Dig Up a Mature Pine Tree

It’s quite easy to remove a young evergreen, but mature trees require a lot more work. Pine trees and other evergreens are beautiful and ornamental assets to residential landscapes. They provide their beauty and benefits all year long, in all regions of the country. In some cases however, they need to be removed. Most often, pine trees need to be removed if they are dead, dying, or need to be transplanted to another location. Either way, if you choose to dig up your pine tree on your own, you will need to review some guidelines to the process. Continue reading to learn how to dig up a pine tree and tips for tree removal.

Evergreen Tree Removal

In order to protect a tree during transplanting, you must dig it up carefully and at the right moment. The guidelines below is a method for safely removing pine trees for transplanting purposes. You may also, however, refer to these same guidelines to remove a dead or dying pine tree as well. It is important to know that pine tree transplanting is a lot of work, and requires some pre-planning and preparation. It is strongly encouraged to have another capable person there to help. This is especially important for large trees. If you are not in good physical health, it is not a good idea to remove a pine tree on your own since it requires physical effort. Instead, call a local tree service company for safe and professional tree removal you can afford. For those who wish to remove a moderate size or mature pine tree, here’s how to get started:

1. Always remove pine trees while they are still dormant. This is in the late winter months, between February and April.

2. Do not attempt to remove a pine tree with a branch spread of more than four feet wide. Any larger, and you will need heavy equipment to manage the weight and height of the tree.

3. The night before digging up the pine tree, water it thoroughly around the base. This will keep it well-hydrated enough to prevent distress during the transplant process. Allow a hose to flow for 10 or 15 minutes around the base of the tree for a deep watering. Soil should be wet as deep as 5 inches.

4. Measure and mark a radial line around the base of the tree to use as a guide for digging up the tree’s root ball. Increase the radius by 2 inches for every 12 inches of branch spread.

18 inch Branch Spread = 1 Foot Radius
24 inch Branch Spread = 14 inch Radius
36 inch Branch Spread = 16 inch Radius

5. Use the tip of a sharp shovel to pierce the perimeter of your marked radial line to begin the dig. Continue to etch out this perimeter until you reach 9 inches deep for an 18 inch radius.

11 inches Deep = 2 Foot Radius
13 inch Deep = 3 Foot Radius
14 inch Deep = 4 Foot Radius

6. At a 45 degree angle, dig down below the root ball. Pull back on the shovel handle to help pry roots from the soil. It is safe to cut tough, vertical roots that won’t break free. Use your shovel edge or tree pruning shears.

7. At this point, you will need assistance lifting the tree from the ground. Do this by holding onto the base of the tree trunk, and then working your hands down under the root ball, using your legs to lift it out of the ground.

8. After the tree is out of the ground, wrap the root ball in wet burlap. This keeps the roots hydrated and prevents them from overheating. Use jute twine to secure the burlap while you transport your pine tree.

9. Fill the empty hole with leaves or soil.

It is highly important to call a licensed arborist for help with large-tree transplanting and removal. They retain the proper tools, training, and equipment to safely and efficiently remove trees. If you have never dug up a tree before, and it is a tree you wish to preserve, it is highly recommended to trust a professional to ensure accuracy and safety.

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What is Oak Wilt Tree Disease?

Oak trees are among the most majestic and beautiful trees in Indiana. They provide an abundance of benefits, and service even more purposes. But just like all living organisms, Oak tree are vulnerable to disease and illness too. One of the most common forms of oak tree disease is called oak wilt, and affects hundreds of acres of oak trees each year. Continue reading to learn more about oak wilt and how to manage a tree with this disease.

Oak Wilt Disease

Oak wilt is an intravenous fungal disease that attacks the vascular system of an Oak tree. It inhibits water and nutrients from accessing the tree’s canopy, causing the entire tree to suffer. There are two primary ways oak wilt disease is spread. The first and most common means of oak wilt transmission is root grafting. Root grafting occurs when the root systems of two separate trees come together and share water and nutrients. This is very common for trees that are close together. So if one tree becomes infected with oak wilt, and it is grafted with another tree’s roots, it can spread the disease to the other tree.

The other common form of oak wilt transmission is through beetles. Nitidulid beetles can carry oak wilt fungus from one tree to another. They are most active during the months of February to June, which is why you should never trim oak trees during this time of year. Nitidulid beetles are attracted to wounds in oak trees, so if an oak tree is newly trimmed during their active time of year, Nitidulid beetles will go for the fresh cut marks in the tree and potentially spread disease. For this reason, be sure to only trim Oaks between July and January. If an oak tree must be trimmed between February and June, pruning paint can protect against Nitidulid beetles and other pests.

The only effective method of treatment or preventative care is fungicide injections. Once oak wilt is identified within 200 feet of your landscaping trees, it is a good idea to proceed with fungicide injections for precautionary purposes. But preventative precautionary fungicide injections are not always effective. Once a tree is infected with oak wilt, the only fungicide treatment that can cure it is called Propiconazole. Again, treatment is not always effective. Talk to your local arborist for information about protecting your landscaping trees against disease and other hazards.

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