Tree sprouting – Transplanting

Q: Each year, a fast-growing tree sprouts up next to the paved walkway in my backyard and each year I cut it down. I would love to transplant it. Since I’ve continuously cut the tree down to almost nothing every year, will it still grow to its normal height when I move it?

A: Yes, even though you’ve cut the tree to nothing each year, it will grow to its full size if left alone. This reminds me of German biologist August Weismann, who removed the tails of twenty generations of mice to show that a shortened tail was never inherited. Chopping the tree doesn’t change its genetic behavior. Make sure you identify your tree before you move it. The words “fast-growing” describe several trees that would not be worth the effort of transplanting.

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