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Forced transplanting in summer.

 
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I am currently in a difficult position. I have a extensive planting of fruit and nut trees that are all still young but we suddenly have to move and I want to try and take as much as I can with me.

I need transplant as much as I can as soon as possible but it being summer I was wondering if anyone has any advise on how to try to give the trees the best chance of survival during a hot dry season?

I thought about leaving them where they are but the new people moving to the property will most likely just mow them down because they don't have any care for food growing or nature in general.
 
pollinator
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What is the timeline and how big are the trees? If you've got a few weeks before they have to go, I would recommend digging around the largest possible root ball that you will be able to lift, then boxing or bagging them with a good compost mixture. Use a sharp spade to cut the roots as cleanly as you can in the shape of an inverted cone. Prune back the branches to reduce the transpiration demands and water well. Shade cloth will also help.

If you don't have the lead time and they need to go now, the same process applies without the time spent in the boxes or bags awaiting travel. Speaking of travel, covering with tarps is important if they're going in the back of a pickup or on a trailer at highway speed, as the wind will really suck moisture from them. Having planting holes ready at the other end is ideal, but if you can't manage that then keeping them in a nursery at the new location and planting them in the autumn or winter should be ok.
 
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Kevin, I'm sorry to hear you're in such a tough spot, but I agree with transplanting as much as possible. I'm probably not going to tell you anything you don't already know, but I've had the best success when I:
1- Trim the top growth to match the bottom growth. If you transplant with too many branches and leaves, the root system will struggle to support them. I trim back the top growth to match the size of my root ball.
2 - Dig a large hole for the transplant. I've had my best success digging a hole at least twice as wide and deep as my root ball, then fill with water.
3 - After the water has soaked in, I fill the hole with a mix of compost, woodchips or leaves, and soil to the height I want, put the plant in, and then fill in the rest of the hole with the same mix.
4 - Mulch well after transplanting
5 - Water, water, water, water. A good long soaking once a day for the rest of the summer.

I hope all your trees make it. Let us know how it goes!
 
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Once transplanted in their new space try shading the above ground parts for a few days. Really cuts down on stress.
 
Kevin Collignon
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I appreciate the feedback. Being in south east Texas we have brutal summers and my trees are struggling as it is where they currently are so it I'm hoping maybe the change will be beneficial to them even though I know their going to have issues with the heat in the summer and us being in the middle of a drought.
 
Kevin Collignon
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Phil Stevens wrote:What is the timeline and how big are the trees? If you've got a few weeks before they have to go, I would recommend digging around the largest possible root ball that you will be able to lift, then boxing or bagging them with a good compost mixture. Use a sharp spade to cut the roots as cleanly as you can in the shape of an inverted cone. Prune back the branches to reduce the transpiration demands and water well. Shade cloth will also help.

If you don't have the lead time and they need to go now, the same process applies without the time spent in the boxes or bags awaiting travel. Speaking of travel, covering with tarps is important if they're going in the back of a pickup or on a trailer at highway speed, as the wind will really suck moisture from them. Having planting holes ready at the other end is ideal, but if you can't manage that then keeping them in a nursery at the new location and planting them in the autumn or winter should be ok.



I have a little bit of lead time and most of my trees have max trunk thickness of about 2"  so I'll try your suggestion and start trying to cut and bag them. And as far as travel we don't have to go very far and not at high speeds so that shouldn't be too much of a issue.

I'm going to try transplanting some of them into a existing wooded area that has old growth oaks so they should get some shade in the worst part of the day.
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