Most people know about pruning branches, but have you ever heard about pruning the roots? You probably haven’t which is why we have put together this quick guide.

Purpose of Root Pruning

Whether it be a potted plant or a free standing tree or shrub, there may always come a time in which you need to transplant an already established plant, whether it be for the sake of their survival, for your special needs or any other reason.During the process, you will want to ensure that as many of its roots as possible survive the transplant to ensure maximum chances of its survival. The roots and soil which will come up and join it in its new location are referred to as the root ball.

A healthy bush or tree will have far and widespread roots which make it nearly impossible to include the entirety of them in the root ball, however, it is well known that the more roots make it, the better are the chances of it adapting to its new home.This is where root pruning comes in. Through pruning, the risk of transplant shock is reduced since lengthy roots will be replaced by ones near the trunk which can become a part of the root ball taken to the new location.

The process of root pruning requires the longer roots to be clipped about half a year prior to the transplant since this will give the now shortened roots a time to heal and grow. This means that trees which are planned to be transplanted in spring will need to be pruned in fall and vice versa.

How To Root Prune Trees And Shrubs

To start, you will need to mark a circle in the soil surrounding the tree or shrub you plan to transplant in six months. According to the size of the plant, your circle will need to be bigger or smaller and roughly the size of the root ball you will transport to the next location along with the rest of the plant.

Next, tie up the lower branches so they won’t be damaged during the pruning and dig a trench along the circle. During this process, you will need to cut all the roots you come across until you have dug deep enough to include the majority of the roots. Once done, you can fill the trench back up with the previously extracted soil.Additionally, you will need to hire the professional services of a tree removal service in Bay Area so that they can take care of the tree son the property.


A fair price for prompt and superb work… what more can one ask for? ArborWorks owner, Don Mcintyre, came personally to assess my job – pruning one large pine out of the power lines, thinning its crown for more sunlight on my garden, and pulling out some smaller bushes including the stumps – and it was an excellent price for the job. ArborWorks arborist, Hildargo, who bravely and cheerfully climbed to the tips of the highest branches to clear the power lines, successfully turned the heavily…
Tammy M.San Francisco, CA


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