Tree Transplanting Cost

Cost to Transplant a Tree

Last Updated on September 13, 2023
Written by CPA Alec Pow | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popinker

Though transplanting is a difficult and often expensive process, it can be very rewarding for those who are passionate about gardening. One of the most common reasons to transplant trees is when they have grown too large for their current location; this may happen if one does not know how big the tree will grow when planting it or due to property restrictions on size limitations.

Transplanting trees is a common practice in the forestry industry, though it can be risky and time-consuming. In order to reduce these risks, many people recommend transplanting young trees which are easier on their root systems and have more energy for growth at this point of development.

How much does it cost to transplant a tree?

Smaller trees under 12 feet tall typically cost $400 – $1,300 to transplant. Digging up a tree can be costly and it may depend on the size of the trunk, how far you need to move it and where you want them moved too.

If your project requires some digging work such as moving pipes around or drilling into concrete foundations before lifting off old roots that have been growing there for well over 100 years, then these complex jobs can cost upwards of $50,000.

According to a forum member of, it is possible to transplant a 25-foot oak tree for the price of $500, while a contractor said he would charge at least $1,000 each in different regions of America.

Also, on the forum thread, a member mentioned the fact that if you’re looking to move a smaller spruce tree you will be charged $140 plus an additional $2 per mile.

Websites like HomeAdvisor provide free quotes for contractors in your area that will help you with the specific job at hand, so take this opportunity to get a personalized quote and find out how much it’ll cost before hiring someone.

Tree transplanting is a time-consuming and costly endeavor. A classic example is given by Adrian Higgins at The Washington Post, who noted that transplanting a 1 ½ inch Japanese Maple tree can take less than two hours and cost less than $200, but hand digging could cost up to an additional $300 with labor costs increasing up to $550 if workers have to bring in their own equipment like a spade.

You might also like our articles about the cost of a Dogwood tree, a Japanese Maple tree, or a Bonsai.

From the website we found out that one company transplanted a 34-foot caliper live oak tree in order to create space for new construction, for the cost of $57,000, and it took 20 people just to move it.

Another example of a great sum of money paid for moving mature trees is given by the University of Tampa that was charged $178,000 for this job.

Transplanting tree details

Tree transplantation is a tricky business. For it to be successful, the tree must have specific conditions that best suit its needs and your goals for it. Professional landscapers know what these requirements are so they can provide you with an expert opinion on whether or not this procedure will work out well. Before considering a possible tree transplant, qualified professional should first evaluate the sensitivity of the tree as well as factors like soil condition, time of year (the warmer months may offer better results), survival rate (high means more chances) along with other considerations such as spade measurements before deciding whether or not to proceed.

If you are planting a tree in your yard, the way it is transplanted depends on how large and what kind of tree it is. If it’s smaller than three feet across, then hand digging can be used. But if its larger or there are site conditions that make this impossible – like rocks or other obstructions – then using a hydraulic spade will help instead.

After the transplant, you will water and lightly mulch your tree to keep it healthy. Depending on its size, a stake may be required for support.

What are the extra costs?

Transplanting a TreeTrees can be hard to move. The bigger they are, the more difficult this job will become. Larger roots mean heavier equipment needed for digging and moving so you’ll want to know how much this costs before agreeing with any company quotes. If you’re not sure about what size should go into your new yard space, just ask them first because some companies charge extra fees if permits need to be taken care of as well as wrapping around all those roots from big trees.

When you work with a tree removal company, it’s important to ask about this detail before they start the job. When trees are removed from your property and not refitted back in their original spot, there is risk of future injury or damage for others living on site. A hole left in the ground will need to be refilled with dirt or cement and you should know if it is included in the final price or there will be extra costs.

If you’re moving a tree over long distances, expect to be charged with an ‘over the road’ delivery fee.

In rare cases where the site is inaccessible and the drivers can’t get in for pick up or drop off with their equipment, a crane will be needed to remove it. If this were your case, costs would go sky high due to needing special equipment like cranes that are much more expensive than trucks.

Good to know

A tree is best transplanted during the spring or fall when there’s low moisture stress on plants, according to Jordan Tree Moving and Maintenance Inc.

How can I save money?

You should always consider the cost of transplanting a tree before you make any decisions. For example, is it worth moving your fast-growing tree if there are other slow growing trees that would better suit your needs?

Also, make sure to get as many options as you can.  Many companies are willing to submit their price offers over email.

Alec Pow
1 reply
  1. Stan McLeod
    Stan McLeod says:

    I will move a 20ft tall 40yr old crepe myrtle 90 feet across the front yard, if I become convinced it will survive. Analysis is required.


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