If you've been putting off installing a new pool in your backyard because you don't want to remove a beautiful palm tree, you should think about having the tree moved. A mature palm can be transplanted as long as you have the right equipment and care for it properly afterward so it survives.


Palms are easier to transplant than other trees because of their roots. Palms have massive root balls, but they are fairly compact so the tree is easier to remove from the ground and drop into a new hole. Here is a general overview of how you go about moving a palm tree.


Obtain a Permit and Consult an Expert


Give the city office a call to discuss the regulations concerning transplanting a tree. You want to understand their requirements before you begin the planning process so you have everything in order, including the permit if necessary.


You may need to supply the arborist's information, but even if you don't need an arborist for the permit, it's a good idea to work with one so the palm tree survives the move. Let the arborist advise you on whether the tree is suitable for moving and offer tips on how to go about the process.


You'll also want to know how to water and care for the palm tree while its roots are becoming established. Arrange to have the arborist present on moving day if possible to offer help and advice.


Rent the Necessary Heavy Equipment


You'll need a small backhoe and a crane to move a palm tree. The backhoe is needed to dig a hole for the tree in its new location. You'll also need to dig up the root ball of the tree, and it is much easier to do that with a backhoe than with a shovel.


Dig the hole a day in advance, so it is ready for the tree right away. This preparation keeps the roots from drying out. If you can't transplant the same day, be sure to keep the roots covered and damp while you wait.


To further prevent shock to the tree, the arborist may suggest trimming some of the fronds off the top and tying them together so they aren't damaged during the move.


As much work as possible should be done before the crane arrives since you pay for it by the hour. The crane comes with a crew and rigging. You should let the rental company know you need to move a palm tree so they send the right equipment. Nylon slings are best for palms.


Chains should be avoided as these could damage the trunk. Clear the working area so the crane can reach the tree without obstruction. The crane can lift the tree over your house as long as the boom has plenty of room to maneuver.


Even if the tree is moving to another location in your backyard, you'll want to have a path cleared so you don't waste time unnecessarily once the crane starts working.


Stake the Tree for Support


Once the tree is in its new location, you'll need to stake it for support. The stakes may need to stay in place for several months. The trunk of the tree should be protected so it isn't damaged by the stakes during that time.


Water the tree well to help establish strong roots. This is the time to rely on the advice of an arborist for how to care for the tree and when to fertilize it so it takes root in its new location and grows healthy and strong.


Moving a mature palm tree is a big job that requires big machinery. Even small palm trees are very heavy due to the large root ball, and it is impossible for you to move one without a crane to pick it up. Fortunately, you can rent a crane and an experienced operator to help. Just call George's Crane Service, Inc. for more information and a price quote.