Ask a Consulting Arborist Q&A: Tree Planting Tips and Species Recommendations

Q: Will a 3-year-old sugar maple tree survive a move to a different location?

Monday, January 04, 2016  
I live in Mesquite, Texas. I have a large sugar maple, and a much younger one began growing unplanned in my yard. I need to move the young tree, as it is growing too close to a fence. It is in a shady location, is about 4 feet tall and approximately 2 to 3 years old, and is doing extremely well. The location where I need to move it is a full sun location. Although the larger sugar maple is in a sunny location, I'm concerned about the younger one because it has grown up in the shade. Can I move it now, after it has been in its curent shady location?

A: It is getting late to move trees now, especially those that leaf out early in the spring. Some trees in your location may already have swelling buds preparing to leaf. I would probably go ahead and do it while it is small and easier to move. Take all the precautions to keep as much of the root system intact as you can, keep it well watered and mulched, and use a little root stimulator. It should adapt to the exposure without adverse effects. Good luck.

Responder: Robert Hager, RCA #523, San Marcos, TX