In selecting large trees for transplanting great care should be exercised to select only those individual trees which show a vigorous growing condition and which are more or less symmetrical.
1. Select and stake the proposed location where the tree is to be transplanted.
2. Cover this space, over a diameter of at least ten feet, with ten to twelve inches of fresh stable manure. This is more economical than to excavate the hole and fill it with topsoil for the reason that this topsoil is apt to freeze and be useless at time of transplanting.
3. Preserve a single large pile of topsoil (rather than a number of small piles, which freeze in a severe winter) and cover this with twelve or fifteen inches of stable litter, in order to protect it from freezing and to make it readily available when the trees are transplanted. It is quite essential that this topsoil should be friable at the time of planting. 4. When conditions are favourable for transplanting, remove the stable manure from the place where the tree is to be planted, excavate the hole, dig up the tree, place it in the hole, cover the roots with the topsoil, and then replace the stable manure over this area. This covering will then serve as a mulch and as protection against further freezing, and against evaporation in hot weather.
After trees are planted guy wires should be set to prevent wind storms from bending or tipping the trees over. It is never a safe practice to transplant any large tree without supporting it with wires. The reason for attaching guy wires to newly transplanted trees is twofold. First, to be sure that the tree does not blow over during a severe windstorm, and second, to keep the tree from swaying without blowing over and thereby loosening the root system and letting air get into the soil around the roots. This second reason for guying trees is an important one, and is sufficient in itself to require a very careful tightening of the wires which hold the trees in place. In placing guy wires on the trunk it should be protected from injury by the use of pieces of hose, bagging, or canvas.
Large trees when transplanted must be amply protected against evaporation during the hot summer months. This protection is given to the tree in two ways. First, a mulch consisting of straw, litter, or leaves is applied to a depth of six to eight inches, over an area eight to ten feet in diameter, immediately around the base of the tree. Second, the trunk is wrapped with burlap or bagging to prevent excessive drying out. Many newly transplanted trees are injured by the hot rays of the sun through lack of this protection which prevents a drying out of the bark and cambium tissue on the exposed trunk of the tree. This drying out often results in injury to large trees (as shown in Plate VII, Page 75) to such an extent that the bark cracks, dries up, and becomes loosened from the trunk of the tree thus exposing the inner wood immediately under the bark. It is quite as necessary to provide suitable mulch during the winter months of the next season after the transplanting, as to provide one in the summer months. In a newly transplanted tree a fine root growth is developed near to the surface of the ground, and this root growth is easily injured by any excessive freezing and thawing which may occur during a severe winter.
After the transplanting, the top and the root growth of a tree must be balanced. It is necessary to remove a portion of the root growth in order to make it practicable to handle the tree, and the removal of roots and lifting of the tree from its existing location shuts off much of the supply of moisture which goes into the tree. In every plant that is moved there is stored within the plant a certain amount of food material which becomes available immediately when growth starts. A portion of the top of the tree should therefore be removed in order to lessen the possible areas of evaporation and areas of leaf growth, which draw heavily upon the store of food in the tree; otherwise this reserve supply is apt to be exhausted before root growth is started sufficiently to provide the tree with new moisture. There are instances when it is not necessary to prune because the full benefit of the top is immediately required. The latter, however, will require more care for the tree during the summer months and entails a greater liability to loss because of the unbalanced condition of the top and root growth. A tree that is properly pruned at the time of transplanting will, within three years, equal in development a similar tree that is transplanted, not pruned, and given much necessary additional care.