According to The Royal Horticultural Society, an uprooted tree will inevitably suffer stress. This is true for unintentional uprooting -- as caused by severe weather -- or when a tree is transplanted. Nobody can guarantee a tree replanting will be successful. However, it’s worth trying, especially if the tree is a rare specimen or a particular favourite.
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You can successfully replant an uprooted tree if the root system has not sustained too much damage. This is not always apparent by visual inspection of the roots. Critical parts of the fibrous network might have been torn off. The only real way to tell whether a tree can be replanted is to replant it and see what happens. Do this with care and look after the tree and it may be able to get re-established.
If the tree is partially uprooted and standing at an angle, you might be able to put it back where it stood. If it is still anchored to the ground by its root system, this is a good sign. The three principal types of root system, according to the Forestry Commission, are taproot, heart root and lateral surface roots. Remove loose earth from between the roots. Try not to damage the root system further by careless digging. Tilt the tree a little at a time until it goes back into place. Cover the bare roots with the displaced earth. Water generously. Continue to water the tree regularly until it is re-established.
If a tree has become uprooted completely, and you think it is worth saving, act fast. Measure the root system. Dig a new hole slightly bigger than the roots, in a good place for the tree. Knock a stake into the hole at one side. Lift the tree carefully, with as many helpers as necessary. Place the tree in the hole and wrap a buckle and strap tree tie around it. Refill the hole, tamping the soil down carefully. Water generously. Cover the roots with a mulch of organic matter.
When large trees fall, it’s often a sign that they are diseased or very old. It would be virtually impossible to even attempt to replant some large, mature trees. It would probably be unsuccessful anyway. When large trees fall, other trees that lived in the shadow of their canopies suddenly have more access to sunlight. They also have more room for root-development. The death of an old tree is often a good way for a wood or forest to replenish itself with new specimens.
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