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Transplanting Citrus from absurdly heavy pots  RSS feed

 
Kane Pour
Posts: 21
Location: Gainesville, Florida
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Recently, I returned to my home town to find that my mom had bought a few citrus trees (Myer's Lemon, a Keylime grafted to a Myer's Lemon, and a Bhudda's Hand) and put them in these great big stone pots that I can't lift. I didn't know much about trees at the time but intuition told me that keeping fruit trees in pots is not a good idea, which I later confirmed with many different people that it this is in fact true.

My current mission is to get them in the ground, but the pots are so heavy, I don't know how to get them out. Could I tip them out with a shovel or will that disturb the roots? Even if I get a few other hands helping me there would have to be some way to get the trees out of the pots that would have to involve not squeezing the pots from the bottom because they're made of stone. Anyways, hope somebody has at least a vague idea

Another question: If a tree that likes full sun gets full sun in summer, but partial sun in winter, will it set still fruit? Or will it set fruit but not have extroadinary flavor? Thanks
 
                              
Posts: 461
Location: Inland Central Florida, USA
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Well, how long have those trees been in those pots?

Depending on location, some of those types of trees might be ok in the pots.  (As in many people in cold climates can only grow citrus in posts as they have to move them indoors for winter.)

However, it sounds like those pots won't be moving in/out easily either.

I have a feeling no matter how you transplant them, you will set the roots back a bit, that is normal in transplanting.  Anyway, I suspect I would try tipping the pot over on it's side and hopefully there is a hole in the bottom that you could poke up through with a stick of rebar or something while some one else gently pulls on the tree and another helper trys to loosen the soil enough that the tree comes out of the pot.

My citrus trees are not in perfect full sun and they still produce and provide sweet fruit.  They are doing better since we trimmed out a big oak tree that was shading them big time.  Anyway, trees will do better with more sun but a shaded citrus can still produce if other conditions are good, they just might not produce as much.
 
Jeremy Bunag
gardener
Posts: 231
Location: Central IL
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If the pots are an unfortunate "unreleasable shape" then you might have some hammering and breaking to do...
 
Kane Pour
Posts: 21
Location: Gainesville, Florida
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Thank you for the reply; I live in Central Florida so the citrus can handle the winter here. The trees are probably a few feet tall, not very mature but the key lime is already producing enough keylimes to have surplus. I think I'll give a shot at transplanting those suckers with some friends helping.
 
                          
Posts: 250
Location: Marrakai Northern Territory Australia
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free the plants- kill the pots
 
                              
Posts: 461
Location: Inland Central Florida, USA
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Will the lime survive a hard freeze here in central FL?  What part of Central Florida?  I'm inland so get hard freezes and thought true lemon and lime wouldn't do well here but I could be wrong.
The meyer lemon and other citrus should be fine.
 
Kane Pour
Posts: 21
Location: Gainesville, Florida
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I live in Gainesville Florida. I've never dealt with keylimes. Everybody here has orange or grapefruit trees in their yards here and the occaisional myer's Lemons. I'll have to do some more research on key limes to see what their preferences are.
 
                              
Posts: 461
Location: Inland Central Florida, USA
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Yep, meyer lemons, orange, grapefruit, even tangerine and some others do fine with the cooler central florida climates but do some research on the key lime and true lemon before you commit them to ground that is not easily frost protected.  Gainsville is a bit cooler than here, we have family up in Ocala and a hard winter can even set their meyer lemon back a bit though the plant survives.
 
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