Whether you are transplanting a nursery tree into your landscape, or moving a tree from one location to another on your landscape, transplanting a large tree such as a 30-foot pine is a delicate procedure. Trees that are not transplanted in the proper way can suffer from transplant stress, which may cause the tree to get ill or even die. Fortunately, many pine trees have a fairly high tolerance for transplanting, and with the proper preparation and after-care, you can successfully transplant your 30-foot pine tree.
Select a transplant site that is appropriate for the type of pine tree that you are transplanting. For example, a white pine tree may do better in the shade or under a canopy of other trees, where as red and jack pine require areas of full sun. Check the light, exposure and soil pH requirements of your specific pine tree before selecting a transplant location.
Move the pine tree in the summer to early fall. Evergreens can suffer from browning in the winter if transplanting is delayed until the ground is nearly frozen.
Dig a trench 15- to 24-inches deep around the entire tree. This way you can get below the major root system. Make sure that you use a sharp spade so that you can make clean cuts on the minor roots. With a tree as large as a 30-foot pine, you may also need to use a tree spade in order to dig deep enough to remove the entire root ball. Most likely, you will need to use a crane to hold the pine tree as you are cutting the trench. You will also need a crane to pull the tree up and out of the hole. If you have never used a crane for such a purpose, you should consult a professional tree removal specialist.
Cover the root ball with a wet burlap sack after you have removed the tree from the ground if you cannot replant it immediately. While you should aim to transplant the tree immediately, if it's not possible you need to keep the root ball moist while it is out of the ground.
Dig a hole three times as wide as the root ball of the pine tree that you removed. The hole should be dug to the same depth as the hole where you removed the tree.
Scrap the sides of the hole with a spade and water the hole so it is moistened.
Place the pine tree carefully into the new hole and orient it in the same direction that it was facing, in relation to the sun, as it was facing in the previous location. Again, you will need to use a crane to lift the tree and place it into the new hole. Fill in the hole with the soil that you removed to dig the hole.
Water the location whenever the surrounding soil starts to dry out, and deeply water the site every two weeks. Deep watering should result in the soil feeling wet to the touch. Try to avoid watering too deeply so that a pool of water sits on the top of the soil, but water nearly to that point so that the water can reach the deep root system.
Incorporate bark or wood chips into the top 4 inches of the soil. This will help maintain moisture and soil temperature.