How to Transplant Baby Cedar Trees

How to Transplant Cedar Trees

A few weeks ago, I was walking through the homestead and noticed several baby cedar trees.  They were hard to see because this area was thick, it needed clearing and I’ve been waiting for the right day to remove the underbrush.

Last week that day arrived and I dove in with gusto and even saved several little cedars.

Transplanting was easy because these seedlings have a good foundation and just need some light and space to grow into something amazing.

Where I found the trees

Transplanting Materials

When it comes to trees, I really don’t have a lot of experience but this hasn’t kept me from learning.  Trees remind me of strength because they multiply in so many areas of our life.

However, when they’re surrounded by a lot of underbrush this keeps them from growing properly.  Heavy brushwood can also become a fire hazard and why we’ve been working our way towards clearing this natural mess.

Somewhere during the process of clearance, we got worn out, had too many distractions and we stopped.

Then fast forward, things began to quiet down and the idea of clearing now sounds like fun; this is a good feeling.

I decided to begin with the underbrush so it’s easier for Robert to come through and thin out weak trees.  What’s left will then be able to grow into something amazing.

Between opening up space and burning I saved baby cedar trees with just a few materials.

  • Shovel
  • Plastic Buckets
  • Water and muscle followed by a positive attitude

Cedar Tree Root System

Digging Up Cedar Trees

The cedar root base is simplified because it doesn’t grow deep beneath the ground.

  • Begin by digging a foot away from the plant base.
  • Dig deep in a circular motion to loosen the dirt.
  • You may need to dig closer depending on the size of the tree.

These mini trees were anywhere from 2 – 4 ft. tall, removal wasn’t difficult because the soil was moist.

Once the plant is free shake off the dirt and let the roots soak in water before planting in buckets or in a new location.

I decided to plant in containers using the dirt from the ground because it was amazing.

My plan is to finish clearing this space before planting them back in the ground.  In the meantime, they’ll rest in the garden and keep that space pretty.


Transplanted Cedar Trees

Types of Cedar

In Texas we have several native varieties of cedar and offend they’re considered weed trees.  They can make a neat natural privacy wall and I plan to use them along the fence.

Common Texas Native Cedar Trees include:

  • Rock cedar, Juniperus ashei, or referred to as mountain cedar, post cedar, break cedar.  It has a long list of names.
  • Oak bark cedar is also known as the alligator juniper because the thick bark on older trees sometimes resemble alligator scales.
  • The mountain red cedar, Juniperus scopulorum, is also referred to as Rocky Mountain juniper.
  •  Drooping cedar, Juniperus flaccid, is also called the weeping juniper, this is a pretty one.

Twenty-three species of native cedar trees can be found throughout Texas, that’s a lot!  They’re often referred to as junipers, some can be invasive if ignored because they can grow in all types of soil.

Which means when transplanting, offer them room to stretch because they will adapt with little effort and grow into beautiful trees.

Common Cedars in North America include: Atlantic White cedar, Norther white, Port Orford, Alaska, Eastern, Incense, and western red.

Now you can take these easy to use cedar transplanting tips and use for most seedling varieties growing on your land.

How to Transplant Baby Cedar Trees from land to bucket#CedarTrees, #TreeTransplant


  1. Patti says:

    Oh how wonderful. Such beautiful trees and I bet they smell wonderful. Cedar is my favorite greenery to decorate with a Christmas. We have a lot of white pines, hemlocks and other fir trees but no cedars. Enjoy your new baby trees and keep up the good work.

    1. Carole says:

      Thank you Patti – cedar is one o my favorites too and I continue with it next week as I finally finished decorating the garden area. Those trees helped fill in the gaps until I can find a new home for them.

  2. Cd Loken says:

    Your garden is looking so lovely, Carole and these new additions of one of my favorite trees are perfect!! Girl, I sure do wish I had your energy!! Have a great weekend!

    1. Carole says:

      The garden is pretty quiet this time of year. Colder temps slows everything down in the south but these trees helped fill in the gaps. Well that energy isn’t what it use to be. I’m finding working at a realistic pace works wonders.

  3. Penny says:

    Giday…. Coral, I read how you call your garden your happy place 😊, I had a big smile on my face, as that is what I call my garden, I even have a street sign at the front gate that points down my long drive way, saying “my happy place”. As my home and garden is my happy place from the rest of the world. I wanted to wish you and Robert and your family a Lovely Christmas 🎄And a joyous time over the Christmas break. I look forward to reading all your emails and adventures thought the garden, and your tips to enjoy it more. Your projects are great fun to build, and give or keep 😍
    Thankyou for a wonderful year of information and a small picture into your life. I wish you both a Great and fun filled New Year ahead, with lots of laughts along the way. Best wishes from down under, Penny xo

    1. Carole says:

      Hello Penny – We just got back from spending the weekend in Fort Worth – so much fun and when I got home my Garden (happy place) is the first thing I see and it just made me smile because I did a little Christmas decorating which I’ll be sharing this week. Looking forward to a Christmas break and just enjoying time and setting goals for the new year. Have some neat things coming and getting more focused on the land and gardening. Just maybe that picture into my life might get a little bigger? Enjoy and thank you so much for adding value to our community. -Hugs and best wishes in the new year – Carole

  4. Ryan says:

    Hi Carole! Very cool tutorial. I’ve read with other trees that you shouldn’t break up the root ball when replanting. Wouldn’t shaking the dirt and soaking in water do just that? I’m getting ready to transplant two Incense Cedars I rescued this weekend. One is about 2 ft. And the other is about 1 ft. Just want this transplant to be successful!

    1. Carole says:

      Thank you! In some cases depending on the size, variety of tree and soil type you would want to skip soaking the root system. With our soil type I’ve found that soaking the roots during the transplanting process actually improves my success rate. These cedar trees are native to Texas and very hardy. They self rooted in clay soil so digging them up in the mix of my clearing was a bit of a stretch. I dug them out in December then transplanted along our fenceline in January and February. They’re doing amazing course we’ve had a lot of rain this year too. I would research that type of cedar first prior to moving forward.

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