Instructables

Transplant a Tree with a Giant Two Wheel Dolly

Featured
Picture of Transplant a Tree with a Giant Two Wheel Dolly
tree-moving-1794-hayes.jpg
IMGP3145c.JPG
It's like a giant furniture mover's dolly for moving trees.
This method works great for trees that a vehicle can't get to.

When there's vehicle access the A-Frame method of tree moving works great . Manual methods work okay for small trees. But I have ten biggish fruit trees to move with no vehicle access. New methods are needed.

WARNINGS!
This is big heavy stuff. It can fall and crush heads and bodies.
Ropes under tension can snap and fly a long way.
I've seen it happen.  It can cause great damage to people and property.
I saw a broken rope fly through a car breaking back window and windshield. It sounded like a gun.
Don't hurt your back. Trees grow much faster than a back can heal.


 
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Or rather, Ancient ones...

Picture of Or rather, Ancient ones...
In 1700's England  "Capability Brown" invented this tree moving wagon to improve landscapes for the wealthy.
This image is supposed to be from Samuel Hayes c.1794 but I can't find it in the book.

Exposing the roots and taking as many as you can with you can be a good thing, but don't let them dry out for very long.
katmckee4 years ago
Hey this is nifty! The tree looks comfortable and secure.
Are those the solid wheelbarrow tires? I finally got some and love them.
TimAnderson (author)  Yerboogieman4 years ago
pneumatic, I think from harbor freight. One wheel's bearing tube was too wide and one was too short, so I did a cut-and-graft welding operation to make them match.
Harbor freight makes some good stuff, bought a trailer from them, hauled over 2000 pounds multiple times. Strong material. 
TimAnderson (author)  Yerboogieman4 years ago
A great place but erratic. Prices and quality all over the place. Some is very high quality and low price, but those things tend to hypnotize me and then I get some of the other stuff also. Some of the stuff is very weak. I bought a dozen grip-clamp thingies there once that all died in a few months. When I was buying them I had my doubts, asked the counterman if they got returned much. He said he'd never seen one returned. I forgot to ask how long he'd worked there :).
The no longer sell those. The wheels are tricky. The wheelbarrow wheels with bulged sides (don't know how else to say it) are very strong. The similar looking flat sided hand truck wheels can't take a side force. I've seen them break in a few hours of landsailing.
Wholesale tool is similar to harborfreight, but with mostly machine shop tools.
http://www.wttool.com/info-exec/view/store_locations/
They used to have micrometers cheap enough to use for C clamps!.
Too bad they aren't in California.
Sorry I haven't gotten back to you, I was in the middle of buying a new laptop after trading my old one. We bought a handtruck a long time ago I think from home depot, hard plastic wheels with metal rims, that thing has moved industrial freezers, AC units, big work benches, and tons of other stuff, with the help of straps of course. No failures yet. I don't know how we would have ever moved without it. Wow, California doesn't have a Harbor Freight?
TimAnderson (author)  Yerboogieman4 years ago
oops! I guess that was ambiguous. There's Harbor Freight here, but Wholesale Tool is only in the east half of the country. There are two Harbor Freights near me. One is an hour north, one is an hour south. What were they thinking??!!
I want one right here!!
shahabg4 years ago
there are specially made hand trucks called ball carts that are used for the purpose of moving trees with root balls. you should check one out and adjust your design. rather than being flat they are curved. the curve in the design helps to keep the root ball in place and easier to handle. http://www.bissettnursery.com/Hardgoods/Images/Misc_Wheeled/Ball-Cart-BBC.jpg
the above link has an image that will explain what I mean.
TimAnderson (author)  shahabg4 years ago
Looks like they're made for trees already out of the ground or already in pots,
But you could add a mast for hoisting. The axle looks pretty strong. No prices on that site, elsewhere similar things seem to be $300-$600.
The wide tires look good. I wonder how strong the wheels are.
I would have used golf cart or lawn tractor wheels and bearings if I'd had them. The wheelbarrow wheels I used are great, but a wider footprint might be good for soft ground.
TimAnderson (author)  shahabg4 years ago
thanks!
I think I'll do air spade next. What do you think of that method?
CaseyCase4 years ago
Tim's got some cajones to be such a pasty white guy sporting that mariachi lovin' sombrero in public. My man!
kenbob4 years ago
I used a conventional hand truck ( sort of mini version of this setup) to move a set of large blueberry bushes.  (3' diameter root balls).  I ended up digging ramps down to the root ball level to get the platform below the level of the root balls. 
Lots of work, but it worked great. 
Love the design of this tree mover.
Pro

Get More Out of Instructables

Already have an Account?

close

PDF Downloads
As a Pro member, you will gain access to download any Instructable in the PDF format. You also have the ability to customize your PDF download.

Upgrade to Pro today!