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Old 09-17-2009, 06:39 PM
Location: New Mexico
32 posts, read 103,287 times
Reputation: 23


I live in New Mexico. 4 years ago, when my daughter turned 1 we planted a Bradford Pear tree in the front yard. It turns out I didnt know what I was doing and realized 3 years later I planted the tree next to the clean out pipe. I didnt know what it was at the time and it is located in the middle of our grassed front yard.

So now I gotta take this tree out and my 4 year old is very upset because this is her special tree. Is there anyway I can transplant this tree or would trying to dig up a 4 year old tree be ridiculous. The trunk of the tree is about 4-5 inches in diameter.

And yes, I know what I did was stupid so please don't berate me, just offer help if you can. I feel dumb enough as it is.

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Old 09-17-2009, 07:16 PM
26,876 posts, read 38,123,724 times
Reputation: 34808
Talk to local landscapers who own a tree spade and see what they think. They'll know best for the climate, time of year it could be moved, etc.
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Old 09-18-2009, 07:15 AM
Location: Albemarle, NC
7,730 posts, read 12,445,614 times
Reputation: 1489
You're going to need some heavy machinery to dig this tree out now. If the trunk is already that large, the root system may be more than half the size of the leaf canopy. So measure how far out the branches spread at the widest point. You've got roots that far too.

It can be moved. That's not the issue. Do you want to pay for it and will it be done correctly. A good arborist or landscaper can do it for you. It might take a while. They will probably want to root prune it first and move it a few weeks/months later. That's where they come in, sever the roots in a 4-6' diameter around the trunk, allow new feeder roots to grow in that space, then dig it out later. It's less stressful for the tree than just yanking it out and moving it.

I'll be moving a 2 year old tree next spring. Planning to spend Sunday doing the root pruning as described above.

Transplanting Trees - Root Pruning
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Old 09-18-2009, 12:48 PM
Location: Fly-over country.
1,765 posts, read 6,240,790 times
Reputation: 903

The type of tree you have is a very fast grower in most climates, in fact where I live, it became invasive since a cultivar that was once thought sterile wasn't. Anyway, where you live may be better for that type of tree. I guess my point is that maybe she's old enough to help plant a new tree in the right place and learn that sometimes things don't go the way we plan so we fix them. It may be cool to get a tree that grows well and quickly in your area (a native) and have her "plant and care for it."

I can remember my family taking down one of my favorite trees when I was young. Since I learned why and had to help, it wasn't such a bad deal.

Just my $.02

FWIW, arborday.org and other sites have tree-related activities, articles, etc. for kids.
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Old 09-18-2009, 01:13 PM
Location: NC, USA
7,088 posts, read 12,696,306 times
Reputation: 3975
It is easier to transplant a dormant tree, when it wakes up (spring) it won't know its' been moved
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Old 09-19-2009, 01:25 PM
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,434 posts, read 41,608,566 times
Reputation: 46993
Sorrry but Bradford Pears are now considered trash trees in the South. They stink to high heaven and make such a mess on the dirveway. I personally wouldn't take the time or money to move it and explain to child that a better tree is now available and it will be even more special than the bradford pear. She should be able to understand. Good luck
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