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help for young fruit trees?

Posts: 34
Location: West Quebec
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Hello all,

  We've been planting a couple of fruit trees a year, this year it was a pair of plums. It was a very cold rainy spring, and one of the plums is just not "coming on". Tiny leaves, virtually no growth since we put it in about a month ago. Its companion is slow, too, but doing better. The poor thing was incredibly root bound in its pot, soaking wet, and as I said, the weather's a challenge so the planting may have been rather rushed. Any help I could give it? The weather's now turned tropically hot - from near freezing nights to days in the 90's.
  Also, our apple trees are suddenly infested with tiny green caterpillers. As they are pretty small, yet (the trees that is) I've been able to use the hunt and squish method (ugh), and I'm willing to go up on a ladder to get the ones at the top if I must...

  Any thoughts? We're in West Quebec, along the Ottawa River. Our property backs onto forest, I suspect our darling little greenies spun their way down off the maples.

Posts: 357
Location: Beaver County, Pennsylvania (~ zone 6)
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Don't worry so much, let them chill. Maybe contact the person you got the plum from and ask for a refund if things don't get better.
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If a plant is pot bound you should cut lenghtwise through the roots several times, I simply rip though it with the finger.
Maybe you could try regular seaweed applications. This helps against frost.
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  Yes i started to be sucessfull with potted trees when i started to unwind their roots. You can just ripe through them and you can with some experience unwind them, even if you unwind them you have to rip them a bit they have fine side roots which hold the ones winding round the whole together.  Even if you break them all they are more likely to live than they are if you don't. 
I read in a gardening book that if you plant root bound plants they will live for a year or two and then die, their roots never get out of the basket they made for themselves.
      You can see their roots laying one on top of each making a sort of basket of root just where they were touching the walls of the pot going round and round the outside of the root mass, and you find a mass of roots at the bottom of the pot. Sometimes you have to open them up to some depth in to the middle of were the roots are. The main mass of roots are by the pot walls not in the middle of were the pot was.
Come trees in pots come with out this problem and dont nedd you to mess with their roots much. they have more earth than root around the earth of the potted plant.

  You can cover the young trees up to  shade them a bit to help them along in their first year. Put a curtain or lots of brush to the south of them to give dappled shade. If they are young and not very strong i suppose it is worth washing the caterpillars off them with soapy water or some such.

  I  had the trees i had just brought, in the flat here in madrid for  while as i got flu just when some arrived and the parcel in which their pots had been wrapped  did not drain, they had been wrapped in duck tape, so when i watered them the roots were getting too wet. i should have taken the wrapping off. If the the trees I brought aren't doing well it will probably be because their roots started to rot in the pots, those i bought in pots.  Otherwise i only know new trees dying from lack of water in summer. agri rose macaskie.
Posts: 1528
Location: zone 7
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im with everyone else, you need to gently get the roots off of that spiral pot thing they had going on. this is best done when the plants are dormant but if not just get that outer edge of roots going in all directions. i bet if you pulled it up it would still be in the shape of the pot.
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