There is an oak sapling growing about 4ft from the foundations of mine and my neighbour's house so I feel we need to relocate it. The problem is that is seems to be growing right at the base of a much more mature tree. If I start digging down surely I'm just going to hit mature roots and I won't be able to detangle the new oak roots. Any ideas? I'd love to have an oak in the garden but I'm not sure how to dig up the sapling safety and as easily as possible. enter image description here

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2 Answers 2


By the size of the sapling, this is not its first year - its root will have gone down a relatively long way, and you are right, you may well damage the roots of whatever tree is growing next to it in an attempt to take it out.

It does, however, need removing - if you cannot get the roots out, you will need to cut it down to a little stump, cut into the stump and apply a small amount of stumpkiller (such as SBK if you can get it where you are) otherwise it will simply regrow and keep on growing.

  • What a shame! It seems like a terrible act to kill an oak tree. Would a professional be able to move it? Or at this point is there nothing to be done? Thanks Commented May 7, 2020 at 8:36
  • Erm, I am a professional, or a retired one... if you had noticed it in its first year, it might have been possible,, but you can have a go now with a garden fork, carefully if you want - soak the area first to make sure its very damp
    – Bamboo
    Commented May 7, 2020 at 11:39
  • Apologies, I didn't mean it to sound as though a 'professional' might have given different advice. I meant could a professional do something physically that I might not have the expertise for. We ended up removing it entirely as you suggested. Thanks for your help. Commented Jul 6, 2020 at 16:38

I would take the easy way ;cut it off and go to the garden shop and buy a white oak or ANY tree you want for the new location. Having done things like that , you don't want to try to dig out that tree. And, leafed out oaks are very difficult to keep alive under the best circumstances.

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