How NOT to transplant a tree....

About 9 or 10 years ago a little pin oak sprouted next to my house.  I kind of ignored it but noticed after a few years that it was a rather nice looking, straight tree...only problem was it was waaaay to close to my house.  Unfortunately, by then it was already 6' tall. 

I decided I would transplant him.  Really, how hard could it be?  HAHAHAHAHA!  Are you KIDDING!  

First, the sucker had a serious root system.  So even after digging  for a few hours, I could barely get him to budge.  So Brian and I carefully padded the trunk of the tree, wrapped a chain around it, and pulled him out of the ground with the truck. We ripped the root system to shreds and the padding slipped so we scarred the crud out of the trunk.  

But inspite of the injuries, I was determined to save the poor little thing. 

So I began digging a hole to plant him in.  My yard has decent top soil...for maybe six inches.  After that it is clay and rock.  So again, after digging for several hours, I finally gave up.  I shoved the tree roots in the hole that was about 1/2 the size it needed to be, filled it with water and backfilled the hole.  I figured we probably killed the stupid thing by yanking the roots and ripping the bark.  Cramming the roots in a tiny hole probably wasn't going to make a difference. 

Today, 8 years later, it is the prettiest tree in my yard. 

Here is a picture I took in 2009..... 

july 2009

I planted him in front of my bedroom window and next to the side garden so he would eventually shade the hosta bed. 

Only 4 years after that picture was taken, this is him today..... 

June 2013

I honestly don't think we could have bought a prettier tree. 

Four years ago, right before the first picture was taken, we had a horrific three day ice storm.  The tree destruction in our area was ungodly!  One of the large pines (to the left of this tree) actually fell on my house and the entire yard was knee deep in limbs. 

After the first day of ice and sleet, this little guy was literally bent in half.... his top was almost touching ground.  I just knew, inspite of his miracle transplanting, the ice was certainly going to do him in. 

Brian and I went out in the sleet and ice and beat the branches with brooms to break off the ice.  He straightened up a bit but the damage seemed pretty severe.  Every day we would go out and try to get as much of the ice off as we could! 

Amazingly, he survived the ice storm, never lost a limb and straightened up within a matter of days.  Today he is thriving and providing much needed shade for my precious hostas!   

He is an amazingly beautiful tree....I am always in awe of anything that can survive so much abuse and still stand strong.