What You Need To Know About Tree Transplant Shock

Trees can cope with just about anything nature throws at them. They can weather stormy conditions, survive harsh winters, and endure scorching summers. Most tree species will even adapt to environmental changes to increase their chances of survival.  

However, that doesn’t make them indestructible. A transplanted tree, for example, will often succumb to tree transplant shock. 

As a top choice for excellent tree services in Griffin, GA, and beyond, we’ll highlight what you need to know about transplant shock.  

tree transplant shock

What Causes Transplant Shock?  

In the same way as moving from one town to another may stress you, trees undergo a period of stress when uprooted from a nursery, potted up, and replanted in a different location.   

A stressed tree will often exhibit drought-like symptoms that may get out of hand and kill the tree in severe cases.  

The primary sources of stress for a tree during the moving process are usually root damage and changing environmental conditions. Roots inevitably incur damage when someone cuts them down to fit them into a container. When that happens, the newly planted tree must rely on a smaller root system for nourishment. Add to this the potentially incompatible conditions (climatic changes, infertile soil, and limited space in the planting hole) in the new location, and it starts to make more sense how transplanting may heighten a tree’s stress levels.  

Symptoms of Tree Transplant Shock  

A tree undergoing transplant shock may exhibit several symptoms, including:  

  • Wilting or falling leaves and flowers  
  • Leaves that turn brown
  • Dying branches  
  • In severe cases, death  

If you notice the symptoms above on a newly planted yet sufficiently watered tree, transplant shock is the likely culprit. Tree transplant shock can also compromise a tree’s overall health and make it more susceptible to pest infestations and diseases.  

How to Avoid Transplant Shock  

Fortunately, you can take several steps before and after planting to minimize the impact and help your newly planted tree to recover from transplant shock.  

Before Planting  

To prepare for planting, you should:

  • Choose the right tree for the new location. Understanding the unique requirements of trees allows you to match the right tree species with your property’s conditions. That way, you can reduce transplant stress. A certified arborist can assess your yard and recommend suitable tree species.  
  • Pick a native tree. Native trees will easily adapt and recover after a transplant because they have evolved to local climatic and soil conditions.  
  • Plant at the right time of the year. Planting during spring and fall, when you have cooler weather and sufficient underground water, eases the stress on your newly planted tree.  

After Planting  

Here’s how to care for newly planted trees

  • Ensure the tree has enough water. With fewer roots, newly planted trees may struggle to meet their water needs. Research the water needs of specific tree species to ensure the tree gets enough water to overcome the deficit.  
  • Apply mulch. Natural mulch spread around the tree’s base improves soil quality, helps retain soil moisture, and protects the already struggling roots from extreme temperatures.  
  • Avoid pruning right away. Don’t prune the tree during the first few years, as that may add stress. Prune only dead, broken, or diseased branches.  

Reach Out to Your Local Tree Experts for Help  

Georgia Pro Services does the hard work so you can enjoy the increased beauty, value, and functionality of your property. We offer various residential and commercial tree services, including:  

  • Tree removal and consultation  
  • Emergency storm services  
  • Tree trimming and pruning  
  • Commercial property management  

Call Georgia Pro Services at (404) 751-8743 for more information about tree transplant shock and tips on recognizing an unhealthy tree. We offer free estimates for tree services in Griffin, GA, and beyond. 

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