One: One couple has spare redbud trees (Cercis
canadensis), volunteers that have grown where they sprouted 6
years ago. They are not field grown as at a nursery but
"uncultivated." Now six feet tall, their root systems will probably
have proportions like this seedling's -- check those side roots, as
wide as the "tree" is tall.
Another couple wants the trees to create a redbud grove where one
tree already grows. Both parties have the time today to
transplant them... but it's 95 degrees F and the trees are in a
delicate state -- leafing out, with both twigs and leaves still
soft, very water dependent. Ah well, let's have at it and see how
Because field-grown plants are often
transplanted at least once during production, they usually
have a more compact root system and transplant
more readily than uncultivated trees.
- Gary Watson, in
Principles and Practice of Planting Trees and Shrubs
Two: Tied for its own protection.
Three: After some exploration, to dig and follow main roots,
it's confirmed: The trees do have a 12' root system -- six feet in
all directions. Too bad... that would be a ball too big for this
crew, or a bare root excavation more devastating than the tree
givers will allow. So roots must be cut all around. The trees are
lifted bare root, fitted into brown paper sleeves, watered and
wrapped for travel.
Three: Uncovered and offloaded at their new home.
Four: The new site. Thank goodness for shade when the air's
Five: Now, we water and wait. The trees remained mostly
wilted for a week so they will probably die back (shed some limbs).
However, nothing's certain with living things -- new growth IS
pushing. Updates here as they happen!