Oaks have a reputation for being hard to transplant successfully. This can be true if you’re seeking instant gratification and attempt to plant an oak that is too big, or a potted oak that is too old. Oaks develop massive root systems which they grow quickly when young—it’s one of the reasons oaks are so good at protecting our watersheds and topsoil. To transplant an oak that’s already several feet tall you have to root prune it nearly to death. If it survives the transplant, it will grow very little for years afterwards as it tries to develop new roots. It is hard to believe but oaks planted as acorns or young saplings catch up and pass 15-foot transplants in just a few years. Finally, large transplanted oaks are expensive, often thousands of dollars for a tree with a 50 percent chance of dying in the first year.