Many think it cheaper and better to take up large trees from the woods, and transplant them to their grounds or to the road-side, than to buy nursery trees. As a rule, such trees die; they fail because proper precautions have not been taken. In digging up a tree, all the roots outside of a circle a few feet in diameter are cut off, and the tree is reset with its full head of branches. Whoever has seen trees in the forest that were upturned by a tornado, must have been struck by the manner in which the roots run very near to the surface, and to a great distance. When the roots of these trees are cut off at two or three feet from the trunk, few or no fibrous or feeding roots are left; and if the mass of tops is left, the expansion of the buds in the spring will not be responded to by a supply of sap from the roots, and death must follow. If such trees have the tops completely removed, leaving only a bare pole, they will usually grow when transplanted. The tree is little more than an immense cutting; but there are roots enough left to meet the demand of the few shoots that start from the top, and growth above and below ground is well balanced.
We have seen maples, elms, and basswood trees, fifteen feet or more high, transplanted in this manner, without failure. Some trees treated in this manner were planted in our neighborhood about ten years ago. They have now as fine heads as one would wish, and show no signs of former rough treatment. Trees in pastures, or on the edge of the woods, are better furnished with roots. These should be prepared for transplanting by digging down to the roots, and cutting off all that extended beyond the desired distance. This will cause the formation of fibrous roots near the tree. It will be safer to take two years for the operation, cutting half of the roots each year. Such trees may be removed in safety, especially if a good share of the top is removed at transplanting--American Agriculturist.