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I transplanted a 7 ft Ginkgo Tree within the same zone 1 month ago. We dug a 5' diameter hole, approximately 3' deep to make sure it had ample space to grow. We did not bury any more of the tree than it had prior. We have been watering well. Some of the leaves are starting to yellow.

Is it possible that we did damage in digging it up? It was difficult to get out of the ground. Is there a solution?

  • Welcome Ginkgo! I live in Massachusetts too, so I'm in the same zone. Would you kindly post a few pictures of your tree? We'd like to see the whole tree, the leaves, and the area around the base. Since you're new here, I'd like to invite you to visit our help center. It explains what makes us different from some other sites you may have visited. If you have trouble understanding or doing anything, leave a note here and someone will come along and help! Have fun! – Sue Saddest Farewell TGO GL Jul 13 '18 at 18:38
  • Sue, is there no way to make a simple questionnaire just to get the basic information we need to HELP? This is so frustrating...a simple questionnaire makes so very much sense. How tired we are of reading a question and then asking; what is your zone, please post a picture, what have you added....on and on and on. I am noticing that these OPs are reading other question/answers before they compose their question. I love it. Just a simple questionnaire? Most people have little to no knowledge about botany, biology and a simple questionnaire will guide and enlighten them...better questions! – stormy Jul 13 '18 at 21:08
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It does sound as if you damaged the roots when you dug it out from its former situation. Ginkgo are slow growing, so unless you bought a mature plant initially, reaching 7 feet will have taken some years, so the root spread would likely have been both deep and wide.

There is nothing you can do other than keep it well watered - it will take time for it to put out fine roots to seek out water, so you must provide it probably daily unless its raining very hard, a few gallons at a time, in hopes it survives, and likely right up to Fall (not sure when that is where you are). Were it another plant, I'd suggest reducing the topgrowth by half to give it less work to do, but as its a Ginkgo and they take so long to grow, you might not want to do this. You might find you need to prune out some parts which have died back anyway though, but wait till next year if you're not going to reduce it now.

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Transplanting a tree or any plant damages roots. Not a deal breaker if done properly. Digging a young tree up with no prior preparation in the middle of a growth season would give you at best a 50/50 chance of success.

Normally one would 'root prune' a good 6 months to a year before transplanting. That means digging a trench around the tree within its drip line. Yours should have been for a little 7' Gingko 3' diameter.

We fill the trench with straw and water like crazy and the tree puts out new feeder roots within the ball of soil you want to take out. To just chop off the feeder roots is major stress, moving it is a major major stress and to do all of this when it is a growing season is asking for failure.

How much of a root ball were you able to move? Diameter wise? Keep watering it like crazy but do not allow the soil to be water logged any longer than 15 minutes. I would also purchase a little pouch or bag of Mycorrhizal fungi and apply that. Do not fertilize right now at all. Shade cloth will slow the transpiration. There aren't enough roots to get water to the top growth. Your plant is dealing with tremendous SHOCK, stress. You do have a chance this tree will survive.

Send pictures, please!

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