Transport a 8' maple in my pickup at freeway speeds?

fogbelt_steve(9)November 9, 2013

I need to move a generic green Japanese Maple in a pot about 80 miles. It's in a container and the container/tree are about 8' tall. I think I can transport it in the back of my pickup since it's fall, the leaves are turning and beginning to fall. The weather is still in the 50s/low 60s. I think my only other option would be to rent an enclosed trailer and lay it on it's side for the 80 mile trip.

Do you think the tree would be harmed going down the freeway in my open pickup at 60+mph? I realize the leaves would be mostly blown off.

Thanks for your help.

This post was edited by fogbelt_steve on Sat, Nov 9, 13 at 13:50

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mikebotann(8a SE of Seattle)

Lay it diagonally down in your P/U. Then put a weighted down tarp over it. I use a net over the top to keep the tarp from flapping. Sometimes I use a coiled up hose to hold the tarp down.
No reason to stand the tree up and expose it to the wind.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2013 at 10:28PM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

mike is right. Lay it down and cover it.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2013 at 10:55PM
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dwpc(8a - N Arizona)

By all means, bundle the tree with a tarp or heavy plastic tied very securely around it and lay it down to keep it out of the airstream as much as possible. If left uncovered, not only will the leaves be stripped off but the branches will be thrashed. I'd also find a way to hold the soil in the container tightly; otherwise while its on its side much of the soil mix may fall out and the roots may dry out. If any branches rest on the truck, pad them against chafing. Most JMs of that size are fairly valuable.

This post was edited by dwpc on Fri, Nov 15, 13 at 10:53

    Bookmark   November 15, 2013 at 12:25AM
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I only had room to lay it on its side at about a 30ú angle from horizontal, with the top of the tree pointing towards the rear. I was concerned that a tarp flapping in the wind would cause more damage than with it off so I made the trip without a tarp. I tied some padding around the soil to hold it in. There were still a few leaves on the tree when I arrived and I saw no evidence of any damage to the tips of the branches. My speed was no faster than 55 mph and probably averaged about 45. I can only hope that there is no unseen damage but I should know in the spring if there was. Thanks for your opinion everyone.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2013 at 3:58PM
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mikebotann(8a SE of Seattle)

This late in the season, even though there were some leaves left on the tree, I believe everything will be alright. They were going to fall off in a short time anyway.
I have transported thousands of trees in pickups at all times of the year in over 35 years as a landscape contractor. My advice was a little more than an opinion.
Mike ;-)

    Bookmark   December 10, 2013 at 9:10AM
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I was out looking at my maple today and the new buds are just starting to grow. I didn't see anything that looked abnormal. So three months after the move and replanting, everything is looking good.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 3:06AM
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mikebotann(8a SE of Seattle)

Thanks for the update.
Much appreciated.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 3:19AM
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