Transporting potted tree from apartment to house - suggestions sought

Hi all - I'm about to move house and am trying to work out the best way to move a potted tree in my apartment.

Basically the tree is about 2m tall, in a large round pot and filled with about 6 bags of soil. It is located on a balcony, on the upper floor of a 2 level apartment.

I think my biggest issue in the move is the internal flight of stairs in my 2 level apartment, as without this one could just wheel it out on a trolley.

Given this, my thought was that I would have to basically separate the tree from the soil and pot, so that these 3 parts can be carried out individually.

Just wondering if others had any better ideas?

EDIT: pic of the tree (looks smaller than it is)


  • +4 votes

    separate the tree from the soil and pot

    The tree may not survive its root system being separated from the soil.


      It's an established tree, will be repotted within a few hours with the same soil so think it should be ok…..


        You can't actually have an "established" pot plant.

        An established tree is one that can survive the absence of human intervention, ie roots tapping into the water table.

        The very fact you are removing the plant from soil, potted or not, de-establishes the tree.

        Just saw the added photo. That is a Japanese maple and the pot looks like a 35cm width (definitely too heavy for stairs). Now is a bad time to disturb the roots as it is a deciduous tree but you may be able to unpot it without disturbing the roots. Get a sharp player's trowel or similar and run it around the edge of the soil as deep as you can. Also, cut off any roots that have grown through the drain hole.

        Lay the pot sideways and gently twist whilst pulling the trunk. It will pop loose. Remove the loose soil but don't shake the roots any further. Get a garbage bag and wrap it tight.

        Bring it to the new location and repot it. You'd want to water it with ~50l of water over 10 minutes to remove any air pockets.


          It is established in the sense it is not a young and thus a bit more hardy than an immature tree

          Appreciate the repotting instructions, but it is something I already know, having followed similar steps when I took the tree home from the nursey

  • +4 votes

    Can you rig up something to lower it down from the balcony? Maybe ask the movers.

  • +1 vote

    At an angle could it be wheeled down?

    Taking it out of the pot is not a great idea.

  • +8 votes

    If removalists can move all shapes snd sizes of furniture then I'm sure they can handle a 2m high pot plant.

  • +2 votes

    How heavy are we talking here? Could a trolley not still be used on the staircase? Stair-climber trolley perhaps?

    • +3 votes

      They said 6 bags of soil. Assuming standard 25l bags they're about 12kg each so 72kg plus pot and tree. Say 100kg total. Could easily be moved strapped to an upright trolley. Have 2 people on the trolley if 1 isn't confident with the weight.


        My concern about the upright trolley is that the pot is round, so it won't sit flush against the trolley if you kno what I mean ?

        • +1 vote

          That's why I said strapped to the trolley. If you have them, a couple of pieces of timber as chocks on each side or a moving blanket or towel rolled up on each side would help stabilise it but I'd still throw a ratchet strap around the pot so it's well secured to the trolley.


            @apsilon: Will speak to the removalists .. personally i'm not confident (and very wary of damage to the apartment should something go awry) but maybe it's something the removalists do all the time and shouldn't be an issue in their eyes?

  • +5 votes

    Add more soil to tightened the top of the pot. Cling wrap the pot, soil and bottom of the tree. Then you should able to put it on the trolley and wheel it out even if it's angle.

  • +1 vote

    I think I have worked out what sort of tree this is, hence the desperation.


    Put it sideways on a ute.
    put an extra support above the cab of the ute, if the tree is top-heavy.

  • +2 votes

    did u lift br0
    challenge a crossfit to carry it down and to ur house in record time

  • +1 vote

    Trim the tree down if you're concerned about size, it'll grow back.

    I would get some heavy duty plastic bag to wrap the pot and soil so you can tilt it.


    It can be done in one go but success will all be in the preparation. Fill the pot gap with a filler of some sort then bag the pot around the trunk so no soil will fall out when tilted horizontally. Strap and block the pot to your trolley with ratchet straps (you can also get a fridge trolley with strap inbuilt (makes life much easier).


      Thanks .. yes similar to a couple of suggestions above. Will speak to the removalists and see what they say

  • -1 vote

    I can't believe the term, friends hasn't been suggested. Get 1 or 2 more people & it can be done. Lifting it slowly or using a tilt trolley with a person guiding it.


    Pity you don't have two of these; otherwise use one of these :)

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