The Best Time of Year to Transplant Pine Trees

Pine trees have a medium to high successful transplant rate. Following a few steps and transplant at the right time to maximize your success rate and give the pine tree the best opportunity to grow.

Transplant pine trees in late summer or fall.

When to Transplant

Evergreens such as pines should be transplanted in late summer or early fall to delay winter browning. For optimal success, pick a transplant site that is free of wind and that has good soil (test with a soil pH kit, if necessary), light and moisture.


Dig a large hole around the base of the pine tree. The hole should be a minimum of 12 inches for every 1-inch of diameter of tree. Dig 15 to 24 inches below the tree, getting as much of the tap root intact as possible. Try to keep all roots whole. When a root needs to be cut, take a spade or ax and make a clean cut as far away from the trunk as possible. Do not allow the roots to dry out.


The tree should be watered immediately after planting, and the soil should remain moist, with daily deep waterings for 10 to 14 days. Mulch helps the soil retain moisture and cools the dirt around the tree. Maintain 4 to 6 inches of mulch-free area around the trunk, then apply mulch to the outer ring of the planting site.