Moving Trees Cross Country

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Moving Trees Cross Country

Post  Carolee on Mon Sep 07, 2009 7:28 pm

My husband will be retiring next June, and we will be moving to Eastport, ME on the coast, where the zone is 5-6 due to the 'jet stream'. I am thinking about taking my hardy trees to our house in Maine this month, and putting them in the ground on the south side of the house. This way, I won't be moving all my trees at once which would require a separate truck for them. There is 50% chance of first frost by mid-October. Here's my questions:
1. How much time is needed for the trees to acclimate before the first frost?
2. Can I mulch the trees when I leave before the first freeze?
3. Since I know this will stress the trees, do I leave them in the ground, until spring 2011? Or if I move in the spring, can I take them out of the ground safely?
4. Can I take them out of the pots, leaving as much soil as possible, wrap in spagham moss & plastic for the three day trip?
5. Does anyone have a better solution, or do I just spend the money that my husband estimates will be $20 per tree to rent a truck just for the trees, and move them all at once.

Thanks!

Carolee
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Re: Moving Trees Cross Country

Post  JimLewis on Mon Sep 07, 2009 8:35 pm

Carolee wrote:
1. How much time is needed for the trees to acclimate before the first frost?

If you can plant them in a protected spot (south side of house; under dense tree cover; etc.) I'd think Oct. would be fine.

2. Can I mulch the trees when I leave before the first freeze?

Sure. Pile it on.

3. Since I know this will stress the trees, do I leave them in the grown, until spring 2011? Or if I move in the spring, can I take them out of the ground safely?

It probably depends on how early in the spring you move. If you move late enough that the trees are leafed out, you may want to keep them in the ground because they probably were still on the Illinois clock and may have taken some frost damage because they started to leaf out too early.

4. Can I take them out of the pots, leaving as much soil as possible, wrap in spagham moss & plastic for the three day trip?

Why take them out of their pots? They're going to be safer in the pots than rattling around with nothing holding the soil together but moss.

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Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

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Re: Moving Trees Cross Country

Post  Carolee on Mon Sep 07, 2009 10:15 pm

Thanks Jim for the information. I was thinking of taking them out of the pots in order to save space in the car. Would that harm the trees too much? Although I suppose if they stay in the pots, that would make question #3 irrelevant. Yes?

Carolee
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Re: Moving Trees Cross Country

Post  bisjoe on Mon Sep 07, 2009 11:56 pm

When we moved to the Seattle area from the SF Bay Area CA I drove about 15 bonsai up in February, 14 hours and it was mid 30s F. They all made it fine for a few weeks, then a sudden freeze got several of them before I got them protected. Some were very hardy, but after an easy life in a mild climate I think they were less able to handle what should have been a normal condition for them.

My suggestion is large, flat plastic trays with good drainage, such as those nursery 6 packs are in. Place the trees in and fill around them with bark to keep them from moving around. When you arrive add more bark on top of the pots until spring.

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Re: Moving Trees Cross Country

Post  Carolee on Wed Sep 09, 2009 3:50 am

Thanks for the information.

Carolee
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Re: Moving Trees Cross Country

Post  JimLewis on Wed Sep 09, 2009 3:08 pm

I moved about 80, mostly small and medium, bonsai from North Florida to western North Carolina in an open-top horse trailer. I just set their pots on the floor, with towels and rolled rugs between them to keep them from jostling each other and damaging pots. Trip took about 7 hours. It was December, so quite cool, and the trees were pretty sleepy.

Those with leaves (evergreens and late leaf droppers) suffered a certain amount of wind damage. All seemed to make it OK. There was no pot damage; no one tipped over, etc. Lost a couple over the winter because of sudden climate differences -- a zone colder -- and transport stress may have contributed.

There were a few "tropicals" and more tender species in the load -- a couple of figs and some Texas ebony and bougainvillea. They moved OK, and went right inside.

So, they got no babying, and did OK.

_________________
Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

JimLewis
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Re: Moving Trees Cross Country

Post  Carolee on Wed Sep 09, 2009 4:56 pm

Thing is, my trip will be three days. Do you think some babying is indicated?

Carolee
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Re: Moving Trees Cross Country

Post  NeilDellinger on Thu Sep 10, 2009 11:58 am

Carol,
You didn't mention what species of trees you have and what stages they're at (seedling, nursery stock, specimen tree etc..)

Joe's advice sounds very good though. I did something similar w/ big tubs from Lowes & mulch. Water them well before the trip. 3 Days is not all that long really. If they're growing well now and are healthy you should not have too much issue.

I feel your pain, this can be stressful for the owner too!
I too moved last October from Central Illinois to a drastically different zone in Tulsa, OK. Moved 5 huge shishigashira maples and a very large number of elms & some valuable specimen trees. Not so much as a branch was lost.

A few tips I have learned.
Make sure you do your homework and understand the differences between the new/old lowest low temps. Pay careful attention to sun and wind exposure at your new residence...if you don't have unheated garage/shed. And, watch the forecast, make a habit of consistently checking your 10 day outlook. Take precautions as necessary. This helped me imensely.

Good luck with your move. Hope its safe for all.
Neil

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Re: Moving Trees Cross Country

Post  Carolee on Fri Sep 11, 2009 12:35 am

Thanks for the info Neil. My trees are all shohin or smaller, mostly deciduous, with a few pines. I also have kusomono and some tropicals. My biggest issue is one of space: there is no way I can get all of them in the back of a subaru forrester, along with my small dog, and other 'essentials' necessary for the trip. That's why I was wondering about taking some of them out of the pots to save room, and putting them in the ground this fall, and then taking the rest (tropicals and less hardy) next spring during the final trip. Does anyone have thoughts on that part? Thanks!

Carolee
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Re: Moving Trees Cross Country

Post  JimLewis on Fri Sep 11, 2009 1:51 pm

I'd only do that with your hardiest trees. I'd be uncomfortable leaving them "unsupervised" in Maine's cold winters. I know they're cold where you live now, but from what I'd heard, Maine can be "special. Where's Craig Cowing to chip in when we need him?

One other option. If you are moving anywhere near Bangor, there is the: Bangor Area Bonsai Society. Meets third Sunday, 3:00 to 6:00 PM. Barbara Friedman, 1229 Broadway, Box 417, Bangor, ME 04401. (207) 947- 5588. Variety of meeting locations in and around Bangor. Bangor garden show every April.

Give ms. Freidman a call and shee if any of those folks can bonsai sit for a season.

_________________
Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

JimLewis
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Re: Moving Trees Cross Country

Post  Carolee on Fri Sep 11, 2009 5:45 pm

Thanks Jim for the info on the Bangor group. I had not found it. I am going to be three hours east of Bangor, and the winters on the coast are warmer, but the north wind can be brutal. I'm rethinking my plan, especially for my developed trees. I still have alot of potential stock.

I'm less than an hour from St. Stephen, NB, Canada. Do you know of any groups there.

Carolee
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Re: Moving Trees Cross Country

Post  JimLewis on Fri Sep 11, 2009 9:05 pm

I
'm less than an hour from St. Stephen, NB, Canada. Do you know of any groups there.

Nope. Sorry.

_________________
Jim Lewis - lewisjk@windstream.net - Western NC - People, when Columbus discovered this country, it was plumb full of nuts and berries. And I'm right here to tell you the berries are just about all gone. Uncle Dave Macon, old-time country musician

JimLewis
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