How You Can Successfully Preserve Large Trees

What is the most priceless feature in the landscape? If you said a mature tree you are right. It can be painful to lose a tree that has grown for years in your home landscape. As part of a larger project, Wallace landscapers skillfully move trees to a new location.

A large shade or flowering tree is irreplaceable. It provides shade and cooling in summer and it can reduce the cold blasts of winter wind. It gives the landscape, the appearance of being established and in scale with the nearby architecture. It takes years for a tree to grow large and for many of us a special tree has sentimental value. We are also learning that large trees are critical to saving our threatened environment.

Mature trees give a sense of permanence and stability to a house and garden. That’s why our landscape architects work so hard to preserve existing trees. They are a priceless asset in the landscape, so we do our best to design around them and protect them from damage during excavation and construction.

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Sometimes a large healthy tree stands in the way of necessary construction, such as a home addition or swimming pool, so we are called upon to move 30, 40, or 50-foot specimens. Using the latest advances in equipment and plant science, we rarely lose a tree. Large tree moving is a specialized activity and we do not take it lightly. We only move trees when we are engaged in a larger project so that we can be on site to monitor and care for the tree before and after it is moved.


When you look at a large tree it may seem like an impossible task to move it. It can be done, but it requires time, effort and expertise. First our landscape architects evaluate the health and integrity of the tree. Transplanting a large tree is comparable to major surgery for a human being. There is no point in moving a tree that is not likely to survive. We will give you an honest assessment of the risks and costs involved and the likelihood of success.

When we are convinced that a tree can be moved, we first treat the foliage with an anti-desiccant to help it retain moisture. The root system is also treated with a substance so that it can withstand the shock of digging. At this point you may wonder if we are going to bring in a tree spade to dig the tree. The resounding answer is NO. Machine digging cuts so much of the root system away that a large tree is unlikely to survive.

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The root system responsible for feeding a tree is located within the first 3-feet of soil. To preserve as much of the root system as possible large trees are always hand dug by our experienced landscape staff. We are so proud of these hardworking men and the fine job they do. Committed craftsmen, whether they are building a beautiful stone wall or planting a flower garden they take great pride in their work. They are part of the reason we’re always happy to put the Wallace Landscape Associates signature on our installations.

After the root ball is securely wrapped and tied, heavy equipment is used to move it. The tree is handled very gently at every step. As it is coaxed out of its present setting and moved to a new location, it is watered and treated with care. After transplanting it is in recovery for a year or more. Careful attention to watering is a must for the first year. Moving such a large plant is a labor-intensive process, but recycling an existing tree actually saves our clients’ money and prevents loss of an irreplaceable landscape asset.

When choosing a landscape architect, it’s important to select somebody who will have your best interests in mind. With their many years of experience and award-winning work, Wallace Landscape Associates is that firm. They understand the many reasons people want to create gardens and work to make that a reality. Whether entertaining a crowd or looking for a quiet corner to escape to, Wallace can create your beautiful backyard oasis.

Wallace Landscape Associates
1598 Baltimore Pike
Chadds Ford, PA 19317
(610) 444-6161

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