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  1. #1
    Gold Member
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    Dec 2003
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    444
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    Emporia, Kansas
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    Kubota L3130 HST

    Default Moving an oak tree using a FEL? Tap root?

    I have an oak tree, about 8-9" diameter, measured one foot from the ground. I need to move it. The tree spade dude wants $300 to move it. I choked on that. Im wondering if a fella can use the FEL and dig it out sucessfully...anyone ever tried that? Does an oak tree have a tap root like a mulberry or a root ball like a maple?

    I have a toothbar on my L3130 kubota. Ive dug a couple willow stumps out of my creek but Im wondering if a live tree can be moved sucessfully with a FEL ?

    Im open to any suggestions.
    Is this a really dumb idea??

    dwight


  2. #2

    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    462
    Location
    So Cal
    Tractor
    BX 2230

    Default Re: Moving an oak tree using a FEL? Tap root?

    I am not going to try and even make a semi qulified statement. I am sure you can do it, How tall is it? Has it started to push new foliage yet? IF so I believe that you should do some prunning to the tree before it is moved but dont know how much. The prunning is done because the smaller root ball will not be able to contain the canopy. Good luck and hopefully there will be a lot of good information.

  3. #3
    Veteran Member DUMBDOG's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
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    1,068
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    Central ND, Central FL
    Tractor
    NH 1630 W-7308 FEL/ Kubota L4630GSTC W-LA853 FEL WQ/A-CC 2544

    Default Re: Moving an oak tree using a FEL? Tap root?

    Not sure if all are the same or not, but just finishing up a 35 foot oak blown over by the hurricanes down here and there is no tap root. It was 14-16 inches in diameter and after it was cut down to a four foot stump, tried to pull it back over with the suburban, had to put it four wheel drive and it still would not come out, had to cut a few of the roots to get it to come out.

  4. #4
    Super Star Member
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    Aug 2001
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    13,866
    Location
    Upper Midwest USA
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    JD_4x2_Gator, JD_4300, JD_X485, JD_425, JD_455, JD_110

    Default Re: Moving an oak tree using a FEL? Tap root?

    Tough one, but if survival of the tree is important, I would pay the $300. I think you will do about that much digging with the FEL, and my prognosis would be the tree won't survive that kind of a move. Even the tree spade move will be questionable, with that size tree. I'd expect a root ball in the 12' diameter size to be needed, and I don't think the tree spades come that big. But, I only have experience transplanting up to 3" diam trees, that have 4-5' diam rootballs.
    Might be fun to try though. Hope you post some pictures.

  5. #5
    Elite Member
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    Sep 2004
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    2,514
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    Kansas, Butler county, Just east of DooDah
    Tractor
    Kubota L4200 GSTCA

    Default Re: Moving an oak tree using a FEL? Tap root?

    Have to agree with beenthere… That is a lot of tree to move and the root ball will be huge… An oak that size would be an iffy deal using a very large tree spade. If you consider how old that tree is $300 is not very much per year. Hope the mover has experience moving large trees. Good luck, if you get it done please post back as to how it worked out … take a few pix. KennyV.

  6. #6
    Platinum Member
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    Nov 2003
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    956
    Location
    Theresa, NY
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    NH2120 RTV500 Bobcat S250 Kubota U25s

    Default Re: Moving an oak tree using a FEL? Tap root?

    No matter how you do it, the care the tree gets after it's moved is as or more important than how you do it. Myself, I'd give it a whirl.

  7. #7
    Veteran Member
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    Sep 2004
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    Location
    Bloomington, IN
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    Kubota, G5200, KAMA 454

    Default Re: Moving an oak tree using a FEL? Tap root?

    I posted a similar question a month back. My plan was to dig completely around the tree. This would leave a 1' per 1" dia, root ball just sitting on the ground. Then I proposed to wrap a webbing like net around the ball. Once I felt the ball was solid, I plan to tilt it over, cutting any tap/deep roots.

    Everytime a tree blows over on my property, the root ball is no ball at all. It's a disk with proportions of 4 to 1. Search on the web "tree moving". You will find examples of golf cources moving 24" dia trees.

    Your tree is is on the large side, 8-9"=8 foot root dia!

    Patrick

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Dec 2004
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    171
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Tractor
    JD4310

    Default Re: Moving an oak tree using a FEL? Tap root?

    Good morning

    From my knowledge with oak trees around here is that ours have a root ball and not a tap root, although the roots will go quite deep.
    If it were me, I would dig around the tree first with a backhoe if one is available.

    One thing to keep in mind is that 2/3's of the tree's mass is above the ground and the remaining 1/3 is below the ground, so there is a lot of tree down there.

    Good luck

    Richard

  9. #9
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    213
    Location
    Raceland, Kentucky
    Tractor
    NH TC35DA, JD X324

    Default Re: Moving an oak tree using a FEL? Tap root?

    How long do you have to move the tree? If it isn't urgent, make several cuts in a circle around the tree, severing half the roots. Then wait until fall and cut the rest of the circle. The tree will have a chance to recover from the first cuts and stand a better chance of survival. Of course, all you are probably doing here is making a valiant effort to save a tree you can't bear to cut down, knowing in advance you are very likely to be killing it anyway. At the very least, don't get hurt!

    I have a personal theory about transplanting trees that may or may not have any merit, but doesn't cost anything to try. Before moving the tree, use a compass and mark the North side. When you replant the tree, orient it the same way. My pet theory is that trees don't like to be turned from their original bearing. If you do this and the tree lives, we can attribute it to following my theory. If it dies, well, that was your fault!

  10. #10
    Gold Member
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    Jan 2005
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    320
    Location
    Western Illinois,just this side of heaven
    Tractor
    Kubota L3400 FEL

    Default Re: Moving an oak tree using a FEL? Tap root?

    I would never attempt to move a 9 inch oak with a FEL. You may be able to move it, but I do doubt it. The oak trees have a central tap root which has to be cut as long as you can make it. By the time you make the root ball big enough to keep the tree safe, you likely will not be able to pick it up. This tree can be moved, I just think the tree spade would be the best idea. Oaks are one of the worst trees to move. The type of oak makes a difference also. White oaks are the most difficult. red oaks are the easiest. IMHO

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