Tree Transplanting

There are 3 main ways that trees are provided: bare-root, rootball and containerised.

The pros and cons of each are summarised in the table below:

Tree transplanting table

Bare-root tree Rootball Container tree


Initial Planting Size

The initial planting size of trees is an important factor to consider when specifying trees.

Trees can be bought at sizes ranging from 40cm whips to 6m+ semi-mature trees, both of which have pros and cons, as summarised below.

Initial tree planting sizes

Generally, the more mature the transplanted tree, the greater the chance of failure. For a greater long-term impact within a scheme, trees planted at smaller sizes are preferable.

Rather than specifying trees all at small sizes or large sizes, it can be good to compromise and specify a combination of both. Larger ‘sacrificial’ trees can be specified at focal points for instant impact, with the knowledge that they may fail. Smaller or more moderately sized trees can be specified for most of the remaining tree planting, for a healthier, long-term impact.

For bulk planting of trees, such as proposed woodlands, it is often ideal to be planting at minimal sizes. Instant impact is not as important and it will help to keep costs down.

Tree planting Sutton Benger                                            Tree planting St Johns Hospital