Possible move, taking fruit trees and vines with us!

KrakenQueen(8b, Savannah GA)September 4, 2012

Hello all!

My husband and I are looking into buying a house down the road from where we are now (we are renting) and I'm determined to take my bushes, fruiting trees and vines with me. My blueberry, elderberry, apple, lime, mandarins, and grapes were all planted this year. None reach more than 3.5' tall, the apple and grape were being trained on our fence. The plants range in ages between 3 and 6 years.

My question is, how can I dig them up and move them to their new location (if we move) without major trauma to the plants? The move itself would take all of 5 minutes to get from one house to the other.

Any and all suggestions would be very appreciated! Thank you!

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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

Move them in January or February. Take as much rootball as possible. But some like the grapes and apple could be moved bare root. Keep them well watered next year and they should be fine. They could be moved anytime from October to March if necessary based on your purchase date. But I think late winter is the best time for most plants in a mild winter area.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 2:04PM
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KrakenQueen(8b, Savannah GA)

The issue is we're nearing the point of putting a contract on the house within the week, so depending on how things go we would be moving in the next month (?). So choosing an ideal time of year is out of my control since I am uncertain the landlord of this home would keep my plants for me.

I guess what I am asking is in this time frame between September and October, what's the best way to dig up, transport, and transplant them without doing too much damage. What aftercare would be needed and for how long? (Or were you referring to this after the months you gave?)

Thank you though!

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 4:32PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

Move as big a rootball as possible and keep them well watered this fall. They should be good to go by next spring. You might also cut back the top some when they are moved. On the grapes you could cut off nearly all the top. On the others cut off 50% of the top.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 5:29PM
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peachymomo(Ca 8)

If I were you, I would prepare the holes for the plants to go into before transplanting. Planting goes much faster if you don't have to dig first, and the less time they spend out of the ground the better. A tip I heard recently about transplanting shrubs was to turn the shovel so the back of it was facing the plant when you dig it out, it helps keep the rootball intact.

Also, if you have hot and sunny weather some sort of temporary shade can help a lot until they have recovered from transplant shock.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 11:33AM
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I hope yyou have an understanding from who ever you rent from about moving these trees. I would hate to see you get sued. I know you bought and planted these trees, but in some states you do not have the right to take.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 9:44PM
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KrakenQueen(8b, Savannah GA)

Bruce2288: When we moved into the house I did tell the landlord that any plants put in the ground would be taken with us when we moved and as far as I can remember, he was totally okay with that. We also said we would restore the soil and replace the grass from bare spots left from moving. I suppose it wouldn't hurt to ask again just to reconfirm.

The mandarins I started from seed, and he showed some total understanding of my dismay when they were cut down by accident with the lawnmower, I don't see him as the type to get mad because I take them with me. People can really get sued for buying and planting a fruit tree and taking it with them? Wow :C

Thanks for the tips and tricks, I will keep those close to heart!

    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 9:15AM
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The Federal rule is "Growing crops are considered to be real estate (not personal property)until severed or agreed to be severed". Of course that does not preclude States from modifying or further defining the issue.
That means the trees and bushes cannot be taken unless you have an agreement to do so. The other, overriding issue in matters of real estate is that "if it is not in writing, it does not exist".
Always remember that lawyers earn their living by creating adversarial relationships where none exist; and prolonging them as long as possible when they do exist.
Between friends, I suppose none of that matters.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 2:36PM
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KrakenQueen(8b, Savannah GA)

So...even if these plants were JUST put into the ground this summer...

Wow. I'm pretty speechless :C

    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 2:59PM
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Regardless of your personal experiences, it is not appropriate on this public forum for you to make nasty comments about a whole group of people, whether you are grouping them by race, gender or profession. Most lawyers do NOT "earn their living by creating adversarial relationships where none exist."

This board is about Fruits and Orchards, that should be the focus of your comments.

Carla in Sac

    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 3:24PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

Kraken, I'm not an attorney, but from what I understand having bought and sold many homes in my lifetime, is that some types of plants are considered real property and other types of plants are considered personal property (mainly producing annuals, like vegetable plants, and the production of those plants are personal property.) I'm not sure where perennial producing plants fall, but most likely in the real property bucket. Which means you cannot remove them unless you have permission to do so (or in the case of property you own, you stipulate this in your sales contract. Kind of like excluding a fixture that is attached to the wall, like a chandelier, cabinet, etc.) Even if you planted the plant yesterday and move out today. Timing has nothing to do with it, but it is more a concept of being "fixed" to the property (whether that is a cabinet "fixed" to the wall of the home, or a plant planted in the ground, and "fixed" to the real estate.) Here is a link that gives a good explanation of this below (see the 5th paragraph down regarding planting materials). So, a plant planted in a container would be personal property (i.e., not "fixed" to the real estate or dwelling.) I would get your landlord's agreement to be able to remove the trees, vines, and plants in writing, and specify each and every plant clearly. And, that you will restore the soil or grass and again, be specific in your description as to exactly what you mean by "restore". That way, you have it in writing, and if there is a dispute down the road, you have a leg to stand on in court, if that were ever to happen.

Patty S.

Here is a link that might be useful: Real vs. Personal Property

    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 7:24PM
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LOL Just say you had them in in-ground storage.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 10:42PM
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skyjs(z8 OR, USA)

I moved an entire orchard, full of 10-15 foot trees, and the only ones that died were the tap=rooted ones. If they are cool with it, I'd take all of them. I'm sure glad I did.
It was completely insane, but it worked out for the best for me. Also , great exercise.
John S

    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 11:05PM
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My experience is that the new residents will probably not take care of the plants. I have seen many homes sold and later the lovely gardens are gone and the fruit trees chopped down or killed. I say if you treasure it, make an effort to move it, whether through an agreement with a landlord or an exclusion on a sale deed. For long distance moves, it is another matter, as you might transport disease or insects. You would probably be better off to start with some new stock, in that case. Northwoodswis

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 10:16PM
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Is there anyway you can start by potting up some of your latest buys or favorite plants and restoring that area so it's not as obvious when the time comes? You could store the potted plants by the side of the garage/shed/house. When I moved from a rented house to this one I bought, I didn't even ask the owner about the plants -- didn't know there could be an issue. I potted up what I really wanted and took cuttings of others I knew would be easy to root. Good luck.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2012 at 9:52AM
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As fruitnut said, I would remove the top third or so of each plant then dig the biggest rootball you can. Plant ASAP and water well........most should make it. If I ever leave this house, my blueberries are going with me!


    Bookmark   September 8, 2012 at 11:48PM
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KrakenQueen(8b, Savannah GA)

Sorry for the lack of replies, I have been both busy with life things and a bit distraught over this entire situation so I needed to take a step away.

I had already considered the option of re-potting them anyway even if we decided against buying the house. The reason is their location. I don't want my grape or apple (both of which I have trained on the fence) doing any damage to the fence or, in the case of my grape, taking a long walk up the light pole. Including the lime and mandarins, they are all pretty much planted along the fence line, and along the fence line is the sprinkler system. I had some concern that my plants would damage the piping system. Where I have the blueberry planted, it's not getting enough sun as it is and would need to be moved anyway.

My decision is to dig them up. We haven't gone through inspections yet so the house is up in the air until we are certain we can even move. So if we don't move, I'd like to make sure my plants don't do any property damage and remain healthy wherever I decide to put them.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2012 at 10:58AM
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KrakenQueen(8b, Savannah GA)

The good news is I can dig up my plants and take them with me! The bad news, well, there is no bad news!

We're still in the process of buying our house and the deadline has been extended to get a few minor things fixed up by the current owner.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 12:02PM
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Goodnews, I just wanted to warn you so there was no unpleasantness after the fact.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2012 at 6:07PM
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