Need some rehab help for poorly planted fruit trees

jflo(CA z9)January 21, 2014

I've recently moved to a new home. There are some young fruit trees planted (apple, nectarine, and pluot) that were buried all the way down to the graft point rather than just where the roots join. The couple w/ the graft point well out of the ground have just as much growth on the root stock as the intended fruit tree.

Any harm in trimming the excess growth off the rootstock now? Any harm in digging down to where the roots joined and making a bigger trough around the tree? I'm a bit worried the trunk will rot. CA's been in a drought the last couple of years, but the previous owners had set up an irrigating line - no idea how often it was turned on though.

I don't have too much experience with fruit trees myself, but I would like these to survive since they are already there. Any other tips to get these on the right track (including links to other threads that may have discussed this) would be appreciated.


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jflo, No harm in pruning the rootstock now. No real benefit in digging out the dirt to increase the trough size. I'd bite the bullet and lift the tree up to it's proper depth. Think of it as buying a bare rooted tree. Ps, I always planted trees on the high side to overcome the problem of soil settling after planting and drowning a few years later. This may be a good time to relocate them if you want.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 7:20PM
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jflo(CA z9)

Thanks! Will keep in mind the height for future plantings of my own as well - good advice.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2014 at 11:43AM
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