transplanting a catalpa tree

Asked August 1, 2017, 5:53 PM EDT

We live on a farm site in southwest MN. We have a catalpa tree that started growing last year and needs to be moved. When is a good time of year to do that? The trunk is about 3" in diameter. They seem to grow pretty fast. Thank you

Brown County Minnesota

1 Response

Hello and thank you for contacting AaE for help.

Transplanting trees can be done successfully but there are some steps you should take. Given that it's mid-summer and to ease transplant shock, it is an excellent time to root prune your tree in anticipation of transplanting it in early spring.

Root pruning is a method of encouraging the tree to grow more roots within the boundary that you'll be digging when you are ready to move it. It takes some time - at least one season. So if you root prune now and ensure that the tree gets enough water (1 inch per week, rain or shine, until the ground freezes), it should be ready to move next spring. There are good instructions on how to root prune in this link to a PDF on transplant preparation. It provides the size of the circle to dig around your tree based on its diameter.

Here is a link to a second PDF that talks about the things to think about and do when transplanting your tree.

I hope this helps.