Why the TBF Tree Digging System was developed

When we acquired a power-driven tree digger at Tripple Brook Farm we thought it would be the solution to our need for a good, efficient way to transplant trees and shrubs. We soon discovered, however, that the tree digger has many limitations. Faced with a critical need for a better, more flexible method of transplanting, we have developed a simple, manual transplanting system. We feel that this patented system does a better, neater job of transplanting than power-driven diggers costing many times as much. Designed originally for use under difficult digging conditions where conventional mechanical diggers couldn’t be used, the TBF Tree Digging System has worked so well that we no longer use oth-er equipment for digging trees and shrubs. Compared to conventional mechanical diggers, the TBF System is inexpensive, efficient and versatile. In addition, the quality of its work is excellent.


 Advantages of the TBF Tree Digging System

 Can be used almost anywhere

For conventional power-driven digging equipment, access to trees or shrubs to be dug is often restricted by other trees and shrubs, by gardens, lawns or other areas which would be intolerant of heavy traffic, or by buildings, fences, walls, steep terrain, soil too soft or wet to support a heavy vehicle, or other obstructions.

The TBF Tree Digging System is compact, light in weight, and can be used virtually anywhere – even among dense plantings or on steep or wet sites.



 Adaptable to difficult soil conditions

Obstructions in the soil such as rocks or roots of nearby large trees can quickly rule out the use of conventional power-driven diggers, as their large blades are unable to navigate around obstacles.

Where soil conditions are too unfavorable, transplanting by any method may be impractical. The cutting implements and Root Ball Grappling Forks used in the TBF Tree Digging System, however, are relatively slender and maneuverable and can often be manipulated around and over obstacles which would stop other diggers, as long as the obstacles are not too numerous.

 Cuts roots cleanly

For quick recovery and continued good health of transplanted stock, roots should be cut cleanly during the digging process. The relatively thick, slow-moving blades of power-driven diggers, however, often leave roots torn, mangled, and shredded. Such damage to root systems is relatively slow to heal, and favors invasion of the root systems by disease organisms. Also, because the blades of power-driven diggers push their way through the soil by brute force and often push roots ahead of themselves or, as the root ball is lifted, pull uncut roots until they tear, these diggers often fracture root balls badly. Fracturing of the root ball is especially damaging to the fine roots within the root ball, making it more difficult for the tree or shrub to recover from transplanting.

With the TBF Tree Digging System, roots are cut with sharp blades which slice cleanly. And because the root ball is cut and shaped by a series of strokes of relatively narrow, sharp blades, there is very little disturbance to the root ball. The TBF Tree Digging System consistently turns out neat, cleanly cut, solid root balls.


 Allows flexibility of root ball shape

Conventional mechanical diggers are quite limited with respect to the shape of the root ball which they dig. For most trees and shrubs in the sizes commonly transplanted, the most important part of the root system to preserve is within 12-15″ or less of the ground surface. The root balls dug by conventional equipment are often deeper than necessary, relative to their diameter. This means that the root balls are heavier than necessary, and often difficult to stand upright. Also, the shape of the root systems of different trees and shrubs varies greatly. Some root systems are very broad and shallow, while others are deeper. For best results in transplanting, the root ball shape should be adjusted according to the type of root system being dug. The blade arrangement of conventional diggers, however, dictates the shape of the root ball which will be dug. The shape and proportions of the root ball can not be adjusted.

The TBF Tree Digging System is flexible, allowing the shape of the root ball to be adjusted to the natural shape of the root system being dug.


 Handles a range of root ball sizes

Conventional power-driven diggers are also quite limited with respect to the size of the root ball which they dig. The blade arrangement limits the maximum size of the root ball which can be dug (in addition to dictating the shape of the root ball).

The TBF Tree Digging System works well for a wide range of root ball sizes, from about 20″ diameter to as much as 48″ .


 Low in cost

Conventional power-driven diggers are costly, and need to be mounted on costly vehicles.

The cost of the TBF Tree Digging System is a fraction of the price of most power-driven diggers, and it requires no vehicle to be used with it.