Best time to transplant trees?

Transplanting trees at the right time of year greatly improves your chance of success

The top keyword search for TreeBoss is "Best time to transplant trees?" so let's answer that question here!

The simple answer is: Transplant tress when they are DORMANT. But let's elaborate on that answer a little bit...

B&B trees dug in Spring

DECIDUOUS TREES (those with leaves that fall off in the winter) are best transplanted when they have no leaves on them, which translates into late fall and early spring. However, some trees (see list below) are best transplanted only in the spring of the year.

Best transplanted in the Spring while they are dormant

Genus of Tree Common Name
Betula Birch
Cercis Redbud
Cornus Dogwood
Craetegus Hawthorn
Liriodendron Tulip Tree
Liquidambar Sweetgum
Magnolia Magnolia
Oxydendron Sourgum
Platanus Sycamore
Populus Poplar
Prunus Plum
Pyrus Pear
Quercus Oak
Salix Willow
Zelkova Zelkova


EVERGREEN TREES are quite similar when it comes to the best time to transplant them. Basically, when they are not actively growing. One difference between evergreens and their leafy brothers and sisters is that evergreens can be transplanted earlier in the fall, once their new growth has 'hardened off" (September in the midwest and northeastern US).

Blue Spruce

So that should answer the question. But let's look at the reverse of that question as well... "When is the worst time to transplant trees?"  That answer is late spring and early summer as trees are growing and putting on their tender new growth. In other words, when they are not dormant, and actively growing.


Transplanting trees

Tree planting

Saving money on new trees


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