Is December too late to transplant a tree? The ground is not frozen. Is it better to transplant now while the tree is dormant or is it better to uproot in the spring when the lawn is dry? The tree is around 6ft tall and was just planted in September out of a pot. Decided a new location is a better fit. It is a Skyline Honey Locust.
Hello – You are not too late. While September through November is the best time of year to plant a tree, for container grown trees it is OK to plant anytime the ground can be worked. Ideally, we should plant trees 6 weeks before the ground freezes to allow the roots to establish before the tree goes dormant. These guidelines are applicable to transplanting in your case as your Skyline Honey Locust is not yet well established. I would go ahead and move the tree now. You do risk some frost damage to any new root growth that may have occurred since you planted the tree in September. However, I think it’s better to have the tree in place such that the tree breaks dormancy and resumes growth in it’s new spot in the spring.
For additional information on tree planting, I’m including a link below to Planting a Tree: A Toronto Master Gardener’s Guide. Good luck with the move.