Please help! Sassafras tree in trouble

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Ino
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Location: U.S Allegan Michigan

Please help! Sassafras tree in trouble

Post by Ino »

This is the year I compleatly redo the yard that's why I have got my pond,bamboos,and various other plants and trees but I just hit a brick wall of worry about one of my trees so heres the story of what's going on. I went to Flower Land in Alpine Grand Rapids which is a plant super store fore all those who never been or herd of this store. I was looking for a sassafras tree for a certain area of my yard. I love sassafras the leaves are neat looking and make a great herb for cooking and the roots make some of the best tea I've ever had and the leaf color in the fall is absolutely stunning but when I found the tree at the store the price was unbelievable they wanted almost 300 dollars for a 5 foot tree planted in a burlap sack so needless to say I passed on that. Then the next day I got a call from a friend who herd through the grape vine that I was looking for sassafras and he lives next to some woods which are almost all sassafras trees as far as you can see on each side of his yard and he sed that I could have as many as I like so I grabbed a shovel and I thought it would be like any normal tree just dig it up move it to your yard and plant it but unfortunately that wasn't the case as I kept digging and digging and digging some more all I could find was just this amazingly huge tap root then all the sudden I made a slight miscalculation with the shovel and it crashed then slipped on this large rock then flew down into the hole and just pierced straight through the tap root and down the tree went! I also tried again on a small sapling not even a foot tall and got pretty much the same result so I kept boath of them they weren't doing well at all when I got home I put both the trees in a bucket of water and rooting hormone and after two days they boath perked right up then I moved them to pots to see how well they would react to being placed back in soil and within the day boath the trees just went flop! So I changed the water in the bucket and put fresh rooting hormone in the water and put them back in the water then they perked Back up within two days again so I've just followed that same pattern for about three weeks now but I've got a small glimmer of hope recently my trees have been doing great in there pots for the past week and a half event thoe they haven't grown any new roots that I've seen but since they have been doing pretty well I thought I would move them outside so they can soak up some of the sunlight and get some more energy so I planted them outside right now and I'm typing this right after I was finished. Now what I was wondering whats going to happen to these trees pleas any help, opinions, ideas, or advice would be greatly appreciated. Ps. Sorry about all the off topic discussions on other plants I know this is a bamboo website but I have been so concerned about my trees and it's driving me crazy.

Thanks so much for looking.
dependable
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Re: Please help! Sassafras tree in trouble

Post by dependable »

My advise for transplanting these as well as other fast growing wild species is to start with a small specimens. Unlike nursery stock, their roots were not confined to pot are not in compact easily transplantable form, as you have found. Smaller trees will not be set back by transplanting and will catch up in size if treated well.
johnw
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Re: Please help! Sassafras tree in trouble

Post by johnw »

I have tried many times to dig up small ones in the wild in Virginia and never had a single one survive. Unfortunately I never see seed-grown ones for sale in pots.

johnw
johnw coastal Nova Scotia
Alan_L
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Re: Please help! Sassafras tree in trouble

Post by Alan_L »

Don't put them into the sunlight! With lots of roots gone they're going to have much trouble keeping hydrated, so keep them in shady spots at first, and sheltered from wind if possible. You may also want to remove some of the leaves.

(This is not specific to sassafras, but any sort of transplanting.)
Ino
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Re: Please help! Sassafras tree in trouble

Post by Ino »

Thanks for the advice I will move them under the big oak tree in the yard that's almost always shady except for early morning and late evening. Do you think I will be able to grow back the roots all I have on the tree is about a 2 foot long tap root and only 3 very small feeder roots?
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