Looking for a buyer for fine old Japanese maple?

This well-wrapped package is a green laceleaf Japanese maple (Acer palmatum 'Viridis'), 10' tall, 15' wide, 25 years old. It was purchased by a nursery in Oregon and hand dug from its site at the home of a plant collector. Only a very special tree and certainty of sale at a high price can offset the cost of digging and transport.

This well-wrapped package is a green laceleaf Japanese maple (Acer palmatum 'Viridis'), 10' tall, 15' wide, 25 years old. It was purchased by a nursery in Oregon and hand dug from its site at the home of a plant collector. Only a very special tree and certainty of sale at a high price can offset the cost of digging and transport.

Whyizzit that we hear about fine, full-grown trees being dug and moved, but there's no buyer for your grand old Japanese maple?

I have a beautiful 12 foot Japanese maple in front of my home I need to remove. I'm looking for someone to buy and transplant it. Can you recommend the names of tree brokers?

If it's not only beautiful but an unusual variety of Japanese maple rather than the common weeping red laceleaf or red upright form, if it's in a spot that's accessible to a digging crew or equipment, if a broker happens to be in your area and has either a current request for that tree or inclination and space to hold it, then you might see your wish fulfilled. Far more often, a tree we think is gorgeous and desirable is not of interest to a broker because it isn't in demand or isn't worth digging or transporting.

We also hate to say this but what seems beautiful to its grower and owner may not measure up to the species standard. A broker who has seen dozens of hundreds of a given species may view a tree as puny, no matter that it is beloved by its owner, acquainted only with that specimen.

A few brokers do advertise for trees, and you may find some of them on the Internet by searching for the phrase "tree broker" or "we buy trees."

Our current look using this tactic netted brokers in: South Rexburg, Idaho; Denver and Grand Junction, Colorado; Wilmington and Minooka, Illinois; Long Island, New York; plus various locations in Florida, Arizona and New Mexico where palm trees and big cacti are in demand.

It can also work to look in your phone directory under "Tree Service" for firms in your area that move large trees. Call and ask if they also purchase trees.

We've seen that you should not expect that a broker will take your tree immediately. Sometimes a tree is purchased with the provision that the broker can dig it later, after finding a buyer.

Experience taught us, too, that if you sell a tree to a broker, make sure that satisfactory site restoration is included in the agreement. Otherwise the sale of a big tree may leave you with no help to repair a lawn or walkway rutted by tire tracks or a gaping hole in need of backfill.

Moving a big tree...

Moving a big tree...

...can create quite a mess in the surrounding landscape.

...can create quite a mess in the surrounding landscape.