How to Dig Up a Pine Tree?

How to Dig Up a Pine Tree

Sometimes, you may want to shift your well-maintained pine tree from one place to another. And that is when the idea of “tree transplantation” comes into play! For that, you must take off the root system from the soil getting as deeper as possible into it. Now the question is – How to dig up a pine tree

Making a 1’ planting hole is your first job using a large shovel. Then, get a 6” wider hole so that you can pull the root system out without causing harm. To clarify the whole idea with the necessary details, I will walk you through 3 crucial steps!

Is It Safe to Dig Up a Pine Tree?

Pine trees, especially Ponderosa Pines, consist of relatively deeper roots, which are almost double the height of the pine tree. Being aggressive, it can also get connected to other plants close to it. 

As a result, you may think of digging it up for transplantation or other purposes. No matter what, it is completely safe digging up a pine tree, especially if you follow the appropriate steps and use the correct tools. 

How to Dig Up a Pine Tree: Step-by-Step Instructions

Removing the pine tree or digging it up from its current spot is not going to be a back-breaking job! That said, it is crucial to go through the right technique to get the work done with precision. So here are the following steps –

Step-1: Get the Pine Tree Prepared

First, with a small-sized hand shovel, start creating a 1.5’ circle around the pine tree’s truck. And that should be done a couple of months before you get into digging.

As for the cutting, it needs to be as deeper as 12 inches. And thus, it will be easier to cut those giant roots and keep them out of the ground.

Step-2: Dig Up the Planting Hole

After waiting for the required period, get yourself a large shovel in terms of digging a 1’ planting hole. Note that compared to the actual roots, the depth of the hole needs to be 6 inches and almost double the width.

Step-3: Take the Pine Tree Off

If you think you are fully prepared to transfer your pine tree, do not hesitate to get your hands on a large-sized shovel. Thus, turn the hole deeper and wider, considering the desired requirement.

Once you pull it in the opposite direction, it is common for the overall root system to get slightly damaged. So here, you must avoid using too much pressure to avoid major damage.  

To get practical knowledge on a small-sized pine tree transplantation, feel free to watch the given video:

Important Notice: For those who have zero experience in this field, I’d suggest calling a seasoned arborist to take necessary help with removal and transplanting, if needed. They will help you out with the appropriate equipment, tools, and proper training.

Tips to Follow Before Digging Up a Pine Tree

Not everyone has an “expert-level skill” in the field of digging a pine tree. So, to avoid risks and potential damages, it is always recommended for all to follow the given tips before you start digging pine trees –

  • Possibly in the winter, pine trees appear to be dormant. And that is the right time to dig them up.
  • To keep the pine tree well-hydrated after digging up, it is recommended to water the surrounding of the base at night before removing.
  • Avoid taking off pine trees using a 4-feet + wide branch spread. Otherwise, it may give you a hard time dealing with the digging period being larger.
  • Last but certainly not least, collect every single necessary piece of equipment before you start digging up. Because using the wrong tool can give you nothing but disappointments!

Frequently Asked Questions (F.A’Q’s):

How Wet Should the Soil be to Dig Up a Pine Tree?

As per experts’ recommendation, the soil requires to be dampened as deep as five inches. In this way, you will find it easier to dig up.  

Can I Transplant a Pine Tree Immediately After the Removal?

Yes, if you have not done any significant damage to the pine tree’s root system after taking it off, you can smoothly transplant the pine tree right after the removal.

What is the Ideal Period to Transplant Pine Trees?

Early spring or fall season is considered the ideal time to transplant a pine tree. Being an evergreen type, you can get the best outcome within that period of time.

How Deeper Can Pine Tree Roots Be?

Generally, a pine tree’s root can go as deeper as 10 ft., depending on the type of pine tree. Even sometimes, a large-sized pine’s root system may go up to 50 ft.  


A Pine tree’s root tends to get deeper, depending on the type you choose. So chances are the roots will drastically get damaged if you offer too much pressure while pulling them oppositely. Now that you know how to dig up a pine tree safely, I hope you can get the work done smoothly with the right tool, equipment, and technique. 

After the transplantation, I personally suggest you offer adequate water to pine trees’ surroundings at least once a week, keeping them well-hydrated.  

Md Biajid

Meet Mia Biajid, a passionate nature lover. Particularly, he has a deep-rooted connection to the plant. Mia loves to spend time exploring forests and uncovering the secrets held within trees. He always inspires others to appreciate and protect our precious part of the ecosystem.

Recent Posts