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Advice on moving young fruit trees?  RSS feed

 
                            
Posts: 27
Location: Southern California, Zone 10
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Hi, all.  I bought several bare-root fruit trees last winter, and planted them in places I have come to realize is not ideal.  I need to move several trees (three apples and a fig) about 6 feet over from where they are now, and I'm considering swapping a pear and a jujube.  Can I just dig them up and move them?  Some sites say to prune first, but these are bitty little things already (about 5 feet tall) and there's not much to prune, so I'm hesitant on that one.  And I'm thinking that now is a good time to move them, since they are just going dormant, is that right?  (I'm in Southern California, if that makes a difference; the ground never freezes here.)  I would really appreciate any thoughts or advice any of you have for me.  Thanks!
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4434
Location: North Central Michigan
10
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now would be a great time to move them and as long as they have been in the ground for less than a year, it is a great time, don't wait or it will be too late.

dig your NEW holes first, and then dig up the trees and move them..on a cloudy day if possible (and that should be no problem with your weather now ..tee hee).

you can usually move them within 18 mo of when you plant them but 2 years or more they might have too many roots and might die..i had to move some cause of a housefire and i lost all but one..it wasn't that long that they had been in the ground, but just long enough to make them lose too much root..
 
Paul Cereghino
gardener
Posts: 856
Location: South Puget Sound, Salish Sea, Cascadia, North America
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I've had some arborists "in the know" say to not top prune at transplant, because it can compel shoot growth when you need the tree to focus on root recovery.  Ditto Brenda on the timing... don't delay.
 
                                            
Posts: 10
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Ditto, previous comments. If you have to wait a while fill a large container with water with seaweed concentrate and soak the uprooted tree until you are ready to plant it. Don't leave it in there more than a day or two at the most as roots will drown and start to rot. Figs are fairly durable and can tolerate a fair bit of abuse. Here in Indiana in heavy clay soils they develop a lot of lateral roots near the surface and so I end up cutting most of them. They still transplant easily for me. I've also used their long and strong roots for crafts, basketry, and garden "twine".
 
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