Tel: 608-838-3290

A Large Tree Nursery in Madison, WI

Moving Your Trees

The Economics of Moving a Single Tree

Custom moving a single tree is rarely cost effective when you consider the following:

  • Your tree should be hydrated the day before you move it to a depth of 4-5 feet (50 -100 gallons)  with a water wand. Be careful that the water does not run off where the truck will need to drive.
  • The intended new destination should also be hydrated  to a depth of 4-5 feet to facilitate or speed the move. This minimizes digging time and checks the soil condition. If we drive across town to find the customer is on  a terminal moraine, limestone outcropping, or other soil conditions make digging imposible, they are reluctant to pay for our travel time.
  • As clients do not have access to high pressure water, and must use garden hoses, this can take   15-20 minutes.
  • Both the tree and the move site must be leveled, so the tree will be plumb.
  • Often time must be spent trimming branches so the tree will fit within the confines of the tree-spade.
  • Digging a receiving hole results in a spade full of dirt, which cannot be simply set down on the ground. It will crumble and make a mess of the lawn. Some elect to have us take the “plug” to our nearest farm, where it can be put in an existing hole for later recovery, but. the expense of all this driving is usually cost prohibitive.
  • Some elect to have the spoil put on a tarp, near the tree to be moved, so it can be shoveled back into the hole created by the moved tree. Replacing 4,000 or 12,000 lbs of dirt is no simple task.
  • Next consider the efforts of aftercare: rototilling  a five foot donut outside the root-ball, soil amendments and root stimulators, staking, and mulching, frequent watering for three years. 
  • Next consider that  charges are made  “portal to portal” at the rate of $275 for a 62 inch or 65 spade, and $375 per hour for a 90 inch spade. Hence the expense of moving is usually more than half the cost of purchasing a new tree.
  • Because the custom of the industry is that moves  are not guaranteed, but sales can have a two year guarantee, ( sales there is usually identical stock to back up a warranty; with moves may not be the case) 

For these reasons, most persons, upon consideration do not choose to move a single tree.

How big is too big???  

Nearly any tree can be moved successfully.