I have some 1-2 foot fruittrees (apple, pomegranates) that I grafted/rooted for my dad’s homestead, which is across the country from me. He and I want to plant them in 2 weeks when I can visit.
The problem is, they have already started pushing buds, and one of the Apple trees never even lost all its leaves. Is shipping these fellas UPS a sure death sentence, or can trees breaking dormancy make it a few days in shipping across the country? Any tips for how to handle/ship them?
Btw, after the shipping it’ll end up costing about the same as just buying nursery trees even though the scions and rootstocks were free. But I had the fun of grafting these, planning it out with my dad (he thinks grafting is absolute magic), and picking exactly what I wanted for varieties and rootstock in a challenging environment for temperate fruits (north Florida). So I kind of broke even over just buying from a nursery.
You should be just fine -- in nature trees get tricked into breaking dormancy too soon and then recovering all the time. They will probably go through with no pause though.
Be sure you seal up the roots and keep them moist -- they don't need a lot of heavy soil, just something to hold moisture.
Be really careful to protect the new grafts! It is easy to break them loose in side loading..
It seems well worth it to keep your grafted trees in the family! :)
Shipping these UPS is not a death sentence, and is how I have received trees on more than one occasion. Here's one way, and it is how I've received fruit trees from nurseries before. Gently shake off most the soil from the roots and a gently spray of water will help achieve adequate results. Meanwhile, get a bunch of shredded newspaper and soak it. Wring out the excess water from the shredded newspaper, place this in and around all the wet roots, and place this in say a plastic grocery sack. Gently press out most of the air and so the roots are in good contact with the damp shredded newspaper, and wrap this bundle firmly with twine and snug it around the base of the tree so it can't come off during transit. A stick or piece of bamboo that is taller than the tree can be tied to this bundle, so if the package gets turned upside down during shipping, it will greatly help prevent the top of the tree from breaking off inside the box. Hope this helps!
"Study books and observe nature; if they do not agree, throw away the books." ~ William A. Albrecht
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