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Tsal 08-29-2009 10:05 PM

Moving a large chinese elm
We will need to move a beautiful Chinese Elm so that we can build our new house. The tree is 8-10 years old and is about 17 feet high at this point. (it is a beauty) Other than getting a tree mover (spade) in, any tips or hints? We do have a bobcat we can use.

gma2rjc 08-30-2009 12:00 AM


Cut it down!

I have two of them in my front yard. They are junk trees. The limbs grow fast and very long making them weak. A majority of the weight is out toward the end of the limbs.

Both of the trees are next to our driveway, so I have to move the cars every time the wind blows. Twigs and/or branches fall every time we get more than a breeze. Occasionally a big limb falls with no wind at all.

If that's not enough to convince you, here's more. Around here (West Michigan), they still have a lot of their leaves until mid-December. A heavy/wet snow will bring branches down almost every time.

When we moved here, an October snow storm destroyed an old Chinese Elm that was in our back yard. My neighbors had to have 5 of them removed from their front yard from the same storm.

If I had the ability and a chain saw or the money to pay someone, I'd have them both taken out. They're not worth the trouble.

But they are pretty when they're small.


DangerMouse 08-30-2009 06:01 AM

you mean a CHINESE elm is JUNK? lol


gma2rjc 08-30-2009 02:09 PM

The one's I have sure are. The one's that used to be across the street were too. Do you have some on your property that you're happy with?

Stillwerkin 09-02-2009 08:02 AM

I hope you have a big yard, because those trees shouldn't be within 100 feet of the house.
-They have multiple, weak, spindly trunks that branch off close to the ground. These break will off easily, and then introduce disease into the rest of the tree. The wood is soft and porous
-The leaves shed year-round, and are dirty.
-The bark peels off easily.
-Branchs fall off continously(as the car will attest to).

We bought our house 2 years ago, and immediately cut down three of them(Siberian elms).
Two were growing right next to the foundation, and the third was ready to take out the power lines for the entire neighborhood.
Only a couple more to go-but they are on the neighbor's property.

gma2rjc 09-02-2009 08:11 AM

They are definitely messy! They drop little round paper-thin seed pods for several weeks in the spring/summer. If you've just washed your car or it rains, the seed pods make your car look like it has chicken pox.

Plus the little pods stick to any broad-leaf landscaping plants in the yard. And they get tracked in the house on people's shoes.

chrisn 09-03-2009 03:04 AM

Being that I was in the tree care industry for 25 years or so and love trees,I am afraid I would have to agree with the rest and do not attempt to move it unless you have a very large lot and can put it far away from anything that you value. It ranks right up there with silver maple, not good.:no:That said, my CRAZY neighbor dug one out of his gravel driveway 4 or 5 years ago that was 15 to 20 ft tall and moved it to his front yard.I told him( being the expert) that no way was that tree going to survive the stress of moving it being as it was too large. The damn thing is now about 60 feet and growing like the weed that it is!:eek:

Thurman 09-05-2009 06:41 PM

If you do decide to move the tree, just remember the one rule of tree/large shrub moving that my Granddad and Dad taught me: Move a tree or large shrub one week before or one week after Christmas Day and it will live. I've never had this method fail on me yet. Thanks, David

Scuba_Dave 09-05-2009 07:04 PM

Whose got a pic of one of these?

Tsal 09-05-2009 09:53 PM

RE: Chinese Elm moving...Christmas not an option....

Originally Posted by Thurman (Post 324185)
If you do decide to move the tree, just remember the one rule of tree/large shrub moving that my Granddad and Dad taught me: Move a tree or large shrub one week before or one week after Christmas Day and it will live. I've never had this method fail on me yet. Thanks, David

We live near Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada. At Christmas the ground would be frozen like a rock, however, October might be a good bet I'm guessing. What temperatures were you referring to near Christmas where you live?

Scuba_Dave 09-05-2009 09:58 PM

I think Georgia could be 50-60 at that time of year

gma2rjc 09-05-2009 10:36 PM


Whose got a pic of one of these?
I'll try to post a picture of mine tomorrow.

Thurman 09-06-2009 07:05 AM

Dave's right on temps in S.W. GA. at Xmas time, for some years. I was not thinking about Xmas time in the extreme Northern States which, I'm sure, could be frozen ground and not exactly the outside weather to be transplanting trees. Down here we get a wide variance in temps during the Christmas Season, some years it will be cold to us, in the high 30's-low 40's, and the next year it may be in the 80's. It used to depend on whether or not we bought the kids new bikes or not. If we did, then it would be cold, if we bought inside toys, it would be great outside weather. I also would like to see a picture of a "Chinese Elm". Thanks, David :)

gma2rjc 09-10-2009 08:42 PM

1 Attachment(s)
This isn't a great picture because you can't see where branches have broken off. But you can see how thin the canopy is, especially considering the fact that there are two trees close together.

farmerde 09-15-2009 12:48 AM

That picture does not look like a Chinese elm to me. We have them on the west coast, although we call them Chinese evergreen elms, I don't know if there is a difference. Anyway, it's funny listening to you east coast dudes trash this tree, because on the west coast they are prized for being fast growing, drought tolerant, and small in size for residential use. I guess it's just a matter of perspective.

Oh and they are resistant to a number of diseases to include dutch elm disease. And they are also used in Bonsai.

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