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Plant a "Grown-up" Tree?

Q: I saw an article titled "Forget the saplings - plant a grown-up tree." Is this a good strategy? What are the pros and cons.

A: It depends. If they get a large enough root ball with the tree spade so that the bigger tree lives, you can have an instant tree instead of waiting for a small one to grow.

It's more expensive, but you don't have to wait as long.

The down side is that the larger the tree the greater the transplant shock, so it may not grow very fast the first several years and it needs extra care that whole time.

In the meantime, a smaller tree will adapt sooner and start growing at a normal pace sooner, and it may actually catch up in size to the larger one in about the same amount of time it took the larger one to get over the transplant shock (unless it was a really large tree, then this may not be the case).

It usually boils down to money, the amount of time someone wants to wait, and the amount of care they want to provide for either size.

Smaller trees require less care sooner since they adapt sooner.

And, larger trees may not survive the move and may take a while to die, at which point you have to start over, sustaining a larger loss overall.

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Tom Mugridge

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