Thursday, January 14, 2016

Transplanting a ginkgo tree. 1.14.16

Digging Ginkgo Tree.  1.14.16
I'll add another pic of this tree on the truck, when I get to the other computer with the photos.

This is one of my 18 year old ginkgo trees that I grew from seeds my Dad picked up in Illinois about 19 years ago.  They are a living reminder of him.

The largest is twice this size.  Magestic.  It stays where it is.  Good location, and the dogs have fertilized well over the years.

This is the 2nd largest.  It was in the front yard on a hard clay subsoil, didn't get much TLC.    This week, I dug it out, and moved it to the Battleground place.  My thought is many people don't like ginkgos, and cut them down.  So if it doesn't survive this move, at least I gave it a chance.  I think it will not only survive, but thrive.

I did the usual trench around the tree, then cut under the tree with shovel.  I made the root ball diameter about 4 foot, based on 2 inch diameter trunk.  This was a little less than the canopy diameter.  In the end, the hole was about 2 feet deep, but once I removed the tree, I discovered the roots were only about 18 inches deep, and knocked off some of the heavy but rootless soil.

A few roots needed pruning, but not much.  I am very happy at the size of the root mass that resulted. 

It took several days for me to dig, a little at a time.  Mostly it's been chilly and raining, no freeze and no sun.  Good dormant tree moving weather.  Between digs, I protected the roots with big sheets of heavy plastic bags.

Once under-cut, I worked a tarp under the tree and tied it up to hold in the soil and reduce root injury.  Ning and I slid the tree onto the pickup, up a 2x12 board ramp left over from a house remodel.  I tied the tree every direction, we drove slowly, then at the new location, untied the tree, slid it back down the ramp into the hole for its new home.  Filled around it and watered with 10 gallons of water to settle it in, despite rain.
Transplanted Ginkgo Tree.  1.14.16
As for top damage, there was one tiny broken twig, less than 3 inches long.  That's all.

Now I get to enjoy another of my Dad's ginkgo trees for a little more of my life, even after we sell the Vancouver house.  I will nurture it, mulch, feed, water, and hover around it.

The 3rd ginkgo tree is already at the Battleground place, having moved it the first summer - now, more than 3 years ago.  It was the slowest, and least nurtured of the 3 until moving it.  For the past 2 years, I gave it good boosts or organic nitrogen, thick mulch, and water during seasons.  With that treatment, growth has been tremendous.

I've planted some big containerized nursery trees.  This is the biggest tree that I have transplanted by digging it up myself.

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