Trees often topple over during intense winds, thunderstorms, or severe weather conditions. Those that are situated on unstable or soft terrain are particularly prone to being pulled out of the ground.

Whether you can save a fallen tree that has fallen over will depend mostly on the size of the tree.

Smaller juvenile trees less than 15ft. in height can be replanted1 and staked, but anything larger will most likely need to be removed.

The reason larger trees cannot be saved is their weight above the ground. Roots anchor a tree to the ground. If these roots are broken, it will be some time before new ones will be strong enough to support the mass of the tree. It’s just not feasible for larger trees.

fallen tree in front yard root ball

Who do I call to replant?

You can do this yourself (see below for instructions) or for professional help, you are best contacting a landscaping company or gardener. Most people will immediately call a tree service, but they really only specialize in the trimming or removal of trees.

Landscaping companies will have the equipment and skills to get the tree back in the ground, staked, pruned, and secure. They will also be able to advise you on watering and fertilizing programs to give your tree the best chance of survival.

Who do I call to remove big trees?

For this, you will need to call a tree removal service and get some cost estimates. There will be plenty in your area so a simple Google search will suffice.

IMPORTANT: Tree services are busy after storms and will charge more due to increased demand. If it is an emergency, call your local State Emergency Services to make the tree safe, then take your time getting prices to secure a cheaper rate.

DIY replant of a fallen tree

If your assessment shows that the uprooted tree(s) have a good chance of survival, then you need to start replanting the tree immediately. But this is a delicate process that should be done with care.

Here are seven steps you should follow when replanting a fallen tree:

Step 1 – Keep roots moist

The first and most critical step is to keep the roots moist. Poor water over the roots several times per day until you are ready to plant the tree. They can turn pretty quickly in warm weather, so keeping your tree hydrated is essential.

Step 2 – Make the hole large enough to fit the roots

Once the tree has fallen over, the roots are exposed to the air. So you will need to dig the hole large enough for the exposed roots to fit. This is crucial because for the tree to survive, the roots must be buried in the soil. It is another way to ensure that the tree is holding firm in the ground.

Step 3 – Cut torn roots clean

When the strong wind or storm uproot the tree, the roots are usually jagged. So before you replant the tree, make sure that all torn roots are cut clean. That’s because jagged roots are likely to cause root rot hence lowering the chances of tree survival. Use very sharp secateurs and other cutter tools for a clean cut.

Step 4 Pull the tree straight

With the hole dug and jagged roots cut clean, you are ready to start the replanting. Pull the fallen tree straight up to its original position. Because it is still weak, you need to use props to keep it firmly in place. (Leave the props for 4 – 6 months until the tree is sturdy in the ground.)

Step 5 – Fill in the hole with soil

Once the tree is standing upright and propped properly, start filling the hole with the soil you had removed. Be very careful as refilling the hole can cause damage to the roots. So break the soil into fine pieces and place it gently onto the roots. In the end, tap the soil gently to prevent it from washing away.

Step 6 – Watering

This is another crucial stage. After refilling the hole, you must water the plant adequately. The importance of proper watering is first to push the soil further down and second, to make the soil more compact. The tree becomes sturdier on the ground after saturating the soil in and around the hole. At the same time, make sure the soil is not washing away.

Step 7 – Corrective pruning

The last stage is pruning dead and damaged branches of the tree. Due to the fall, some of the branches must have broken and should be removed to keep the tree healthy.

Pruning ensures that tree energy is going to the healthy branches hence a quick recovery.

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What if it is too big to replant?

If the tree is too big to replant, then you should consider cutting it up and removing it.

The good news is that there are many tree removal service providers near you to hire.

These are contractors with state-of-the-art equipment to hand any size and type of tree.

They will cut your tree up in pieces and get it mulched by a woodchipping service near you that can be left to decompose on your compound or used as fuel. You can also spread these chips on your garden as mulch before they decompose to form organic manure.

What’s the average price of tree removal?

The range is usually anywhere from $225 to upwards of $1,500 depending on the size and position of the tree.

There are several factors that determine the average price of tree removal. First, the size of the tree is the most significant determining factor. Trees larger in diameter and height are expensive to remove. A tree’s location is another factor.

Resource: Tree removal cost guide

If the tree is located next to a building, electric line, or fence, then it will cost you more to remove. In addition, the type of trees also affects removal charges. For instance, oak trees are more expensive than pine tree removal costs. So the average price of tree removal greatly depends on these factors.

  1. Davey Tree, (2021) What To Do With Uprooted Trees: Replant or Remove? <> Accessed: 16-02-2024.
Ben McInerney
Author: Ben McInerney - Ben is a qualified arborist with 15 plus years of industry experience in Arboriculture. He ran a successful tree service before turning to writing and publishing. Ben is dedicated to providing users with the most accurate up-to-date information on everything trees.