In about 99% of the cases
when a transplanted tree or shrub dies within the first
two seasons, the cause is transplant shock. It is
extremely unusual for a disease or insect to cause the
death of a healthy, young transplanted tree.
The term "transplant
shock" generally refers to the impact of the tree's
inability to re-establish its root system. No matter how
careful you are, whenever you move a plant, roots will
be damaged and lost. For every plant, there is a balance
between the number of roots needed to support a certain
amount of leaves and stems. If a transplanted tree
cannot re-establish this balance soon after being moved,
it will begin to decline and may die.
The key factor to
transplant shock is water. For plants to grow new roots,
they need an adequate supply of water and a good amount
of oxygen in the soil. Too little water will result in
wilting and death of plant tissue. Excessive water will
eliminate the oxygen in the water and cause wilting and
death of the plant tissue.
[Return to section on
Installing Landscape Plants]