General Question

squirbel's avatar

Can you buy full grown trees, and transplant them to your yard?

Asked by squirbel (3996 points ) January 4th, 2009

One of the recommended landscape modifications for energy efficiency is to create windbreaks on the north/northwesterly side of your house.

The purpose is to slow down the cold winds so that the cold winds don’t reach your house, and create a relatively dead air space in your yard. Then, your house does not have to fight an outdoor wind to keep the house heated.

So can I buy full-grown trees, and transplant them? Even if it is costly, is it doable?

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17 Answers

squirbel's avatar

Properly selected and placed landscaping can provide excellent wind protection, or windbreaks, which will reduce heating costs considerably. Furthermore, the benefits from these windbreaks will increase as the trees and shrubs mature.

Basically, a windbreak can lower the wind chill near your home. Wind chill occurs when wind speed lowers the outside temperature. For example, if the outside temperature is 10°F (-12°C) and the wind speed is 20 miles per hour (32 kilometers per hour), the wind chill is -24°F (-31°C). A windbreak will reduce wind speed for a distance of as much as 30 times the windbreak’s height. But for maximum protection, plant your windbreak at a distance from your home of two to five times the mature height of the trees.

- ran out of time to edit.

basp's avatar

Yes you can buy full grown trees and transplant them to your yard and yes they are very effective in maintaining house temperatures when properly placed.
The draw back is that full grown trees are very expensive to buy and transplant. You might be better off getting a small tree (5 or 10 gallon bucket) that is a fast growing type.

chyna's avatar

I am also looking for a fast growing tree to replace one that died out on my property. Any suggestions? I was thinking of a Bradford Pear (the ones without fruit) but I was going by their looks and do not know anything about them.

basp's avatar

Chyna
You might try going to you local nursery and talk to someone who is certified. They will know what grows well in your locale.
On the other hand, you can’t go wrong with a maple tree.

basp's avatar

Oh, chyna, meant to add…. The pear sounds good. Very pretty tree. I have two outside my living room window.

chyna's avatar

Thanks, I will do that. I need to find out right time to plant, etc. so they can help me with all that.

laureth's avatar

Most trees have a pretty big root-span. In fact, a pretty good indicator of how big and spread-out the roots go is to imagine a mirror image of the tree, underground.

That said, I imagine it would be pretty difficult to uproot that much tree and move it without significantly harming or killing it. Is it in the realm of possibility? Yes, but it’s probably on par with moving your house to where the good trees are.

If you do find an adult or nearly-adult tree to move, though, it would prefer to be placed in the ground facing the same direction in relation to the sun, as it had before. For example, the quarter of the tree that faced North before should face North in its new home. This is true of even small trees.

squirbel's avatar

I found the trees I want – the idea of getting a fast growing tree gave me a clue.

http://www.fast-growing-trees.com/LeylandCypress.htm

Those grow 3–4ft each year. Privacy trees are a plus, so that’s what I chose!

mac316's avatar

It’s interesting to note that noone mentioned that only Conifers will help! Deciduous trees lose their leaves and do not provide a windbreak in winter.

laureth's avatar

Conifers help that way in the winter, but deciduous trees have a similar effect in the Summer when planted on the sunward side of a home. (They shade the house in the summer, but let valuable sunlight through in the cold season.) I tried to answer in a way that covered both of those situations.

Snoopy's avatar

Is it possible? Yes….but extremely costly. As Laureth indicates the roots are your limitation….

Heigth of and established tree (roughly) = spread of roots away from tree. So if you have a 20 foot tree, the roots spread out in all directions about 20 feet.

Your best bet is to consider a 6–10 foot tree. Talk to a local arborist about what would work best in your yard. You will need to consider lighting (e.g. conifers tend to do better and thus grow faster w/ more light….), soil conditions and water conditions (is the area wet most of the time…?), etc.

Will it help, yes. As part of an overall energy plan, consider it a piece of the puzzle….bigger impact will come when changes are made to the home itself (new windows, adequate attic insulation, glass block basement windows, etc.)

asmonet's avatar

You and syz beat me to it. :’(

augustlan's avatar

Leyland Cypress is a good choice, as they do grow very quickly and maintain their needles all year. Be aware that they get really tall, and may require pruning so that they don’t develop two ‘leaders’ (two pointy top parts). Bradford Pears are pretty, but have a tendancy to split in half in storms.

Snoopy's avatar

@augustlan That is an excellent point about the Bradford Pears….they are beautiful trees….but weak. My neighbor had one and that is exactly what happened….it was the focal point of her front yard. We had a bad ice storm a couple of years ago….half of it ended up on her house.
:(

chyna's avatar

Thanks for the heads up on the Bradford Pear. This would be close to my house and we get very high winds here, so that particular tree probably won’t be a good choice.

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