Moving Trees


There is a great history of landscape designing in Britain. In the 18th century, landscape architects such as Charles BridgemanWilliam Kent and Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown created English landscape gardens by clearing land, including trees, to create grand vistas. Some of these trees were felled, but others were planted or transplanted using just manual labour, horse and man-power.

More recently, pioneers in tree moving have had a programme of relocating trees from country estates and woodlands into developing urban areas and as tree spades evolved – Practicality Brown first acquired one in early 1980s – tree survival rates began to rise. The urban landscapes started to change forever with instant first-generation planting.


With the introduction of the lorry-mounted tree spade, tree lifting, moving and planting projects have increased and this instant impact, either for aesthetic looks or for screening, has become a focus of garden designers and landscape architects alike. Many established schools, universities, golf courses, business parks and country estates increasingly see tree moving as a cost effective way to utilise overcrowded woodland areas to enhance new developments on their sites. On new builds and development sites, it is often a condition of the planning permission that existing trees must be “saved” and replanted in appropriate locations once building work is complete.

More recently homeowners have been tempted by developers to partition off and sell large sections of their property – often woodland – so new houses can be built. This involves a lot of tree moving and re-location to create new landscapes and boundaries.

REASONS to move trees

There are many reasons to move trees, including:

  • Changing garden/landscape or building designs
  • Replacing an existing tree with more appropriate or native species
  • Relocating for planning requirements
  • Thinning out overcrowded woodland and copses
  • Moving a number of existing trees is often less expensive that buying a new ones


Successful tree planting (whether a new or transplanted tree) can be ensured by careful planning, preparation, planting and aftercare.

  • Carefully plan new locations, sightlines and practicalities of access and aspects
  • Prepare the new location, consider tree pit size, soil PH, drainage and method of irrigation
  • Consider all planting aspects including machinery required, guying, staking/securing requirements and compost/soil for backfilling
  • Finally and most importantly aftercare; transplanted trees need regular and measured watering and feeding to ensure they establish and thrive in the new environment

Practicality Brown can help with all aspects of tree moving and planting; simply contact us with your enquiry.

Fact Sheets

The following fact sheets are available to download, each of which gives an overview of a product area together with an indication of prices:

  • Hedges: Deciduous
  • Hedges: Evergreen
  • Trees: Pleached
  • Trees: Screening
  • Topiary