Long distance moving plan

Mikecheck123

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I'm probably moving across the country this year from the West Coast to the East Coast.

Setting aside all questions of legality, how would you prep your trees for such a transport (think several days of driving with no light and little water)?

I was thinking of defoliating everything as soon as I left, which would give me a couple of days before the trees got sad from lack of light and/or water.

I was also thinking of slip potting everything into high-moisture retention soil to help with dryness.

Any other ideas?

Thanks.
 

BonsaiDTLA

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I've purchased and had shipped smaller to medium sized trees, some of which that were stuck in transit for over a week (7+ days). From what I could tell, as long as the roots didn't dry out, they would survive. For the times that transit only took 4-5 days, some came out the box looking ok--I think I once had two maples get unhappy later, which showed on the foliage. Good luck if you do move!
 

Dav4

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I moved from MA to GA in late June years ago. I didn't do anything other then water the pots and get them into the 26 ft moving van. There was a LOT in there and I think that help as every time I opened the trailer, it felt like a tropical green house. Anyway, the move took 2 days in mid 90s temps, I didn't water, and the soil was still moist in every pot.
 

PeaceLoveBonsai

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I concur with @Dav4 and I bet @Bonsai Nut chimes in as well since he moved a long distance recently. While my length was not as long, (St Louis to Nashville) my trees stayed in a UHAUL truck for days and no issues. I had extra boxes and found it easier to actually box them up. That way I could stack them on top of themselves. I wrapped the soils so I could lay them sideways in a box, if need be. Some of the larger trees didn’t get boxed and a few were in the car with me and the dog.

Funny story, the literati elm that I boxed up (pic below) didn’t get opened for like two weeks and I damn near threw the box away thinking there was nothing in it.

Miraculously, the tree lived.

I found the process to be much to do about nothing, tbh, other than just the physical labor associated with moving 100+ trees. 😂😂

0446C55C-27B4-45A4-A87B-7BFEAABFC23F.jpeg33B4A5E1-076B-4215-93BE-C214E6ACD495.jpeg9621818A-2538-4974-AF03-C464CD7F6193.jpegACEDE476-044F-471F-B338-9BD9A4B01C11.jpeg
 

sorce

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Why not schedule up with other Bonsai Folks to continue driving while you sleep? I'd sign up for a leg!

F several days, not for the trees, f the trees!
For you!

Sorce
 

Bonsai Nut

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Setting aside all questions of legality, how would you prep your trees for such a transport (think several days of driving with no light and little water)?
Do you know what season? How you prep your trees will vary greatly based on how hot / cold you think they will get.
 

Shibui

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I send a lot of trees by post. Some customers are concerned about trees dying en route but we have not had that. I was also concerned about mid summer shipping as we get really scorching hot summers here but fears proved groundless. Trees can survive up to a week in a dark box where they would normally be watered twice a day here. I suspect they use far less water when it is dark compared to in sunshine.
Occasionally the posties misplace a box or I have made some mistake with the address. If the trip takes longer than a week the leaves start to go yellow but soon color up again after going back into the sun. none have died from transport so far.
Some dormant deciduous that were sent bare root have been returned here after 2 weeks in transit. I planted some to see whether they would survive. All of them grew fine the following spring (trident maple seedlings)

Most trees are far more resilient than many of us think so do not worry too much.

Water everything well before packing them and, if possible, wrap the pots in plastic bags which not only conserves water but also hold soil in if they tip over when packing or on the journey.
 

Mikecheck123

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I concur with @Dav4 and I bet @Bonsai Nut chimes in as well since he moved a long distance recently. While my length was not as long, (St Louis to Nashville) my trees stayed in a UHAUL truck for days and no issues. I had extra boxes and found it easier to actually box them up. That way I could stack them on top of themselves. I wrapped the soils so I could lay them sideways in a box, if need be. Some of the larger trees didn’t get boxed and a few were in the car with me and the dog.

Funny story, the literati elm that I boxed up (pic below) didn’t get opened for like two weeks and I damn near threw the box away thinking there was nothing in it.

Miraculously, the tree lived.

I found the process to be much to do about nothing, tbh, other than just the physical labor associated with moving 100+ trees. 😂😂

View attachment 348477View attachment 348478View attachment 348479View attachment 348480
Good ideas. Makes sense. Every tree I've ordered online has the soil wrapped like that.
 

Mikecheck123

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I send a lot of trees by post. Some customers are concerned about trees dying en route but we have not had that. I was also concerned about mid summer shipping as we get really scorching hot summers here but fears proved groundless. Trees can survive up to a week in a dark box where they would normally be watered twice a day here. I suspect they use far less water when it is dark compared to in sunshine.
Occasionally the posties misplace a box or I have made some mistake with the address. If the trip takes longer than a week the leaves start to go yellow but soon color up again after going back into the sun. none have died from transport so far.
Some dormant deciduous that were sent bare root have been returned here after 2 weeks in transit. I planted some to see whether they would survive. All of them grew fine the following spring (trident maple seedlings)

Most trees are far more resilient than many of us think so do not worry too much.

Water everything well before packing them and, if possible, wrap the pots in plastic bags which not only conserves water but also hold soil in if they tip over when packing or on the journey.
Great to hear, thank you!
 

PA_Penjing

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What state are you moving too? The weather is a lot different over on the right coast. I have to imagine there's going to be a lot of trees that won't be happy over here unless you are moving pretty far south
 

Mikecheck123

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What state are you moving too? The weather is a lot different over on the right coast. I have to imagine there's going to be a lot of trees that won't be happy over here unless you are moving pretty far south
7B. I actually don't have a lot of super cold-sensitive trees.
 

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