Removing Citrus Trees

az_pamperedchef(9)October 15, 2013

After working hard at getting my "orchard" going it looks like I'll be moving! I'd like to take some of my smaller trees with me when we move (probably after the 1st of the year). These trees are citrus and figs, but I'll ask about the figs in the correct forum:

Kishu Mandarin (in the ground about a year)
Moro Blood Orange (in the ground a couple of years)
Persian Lime (in ground about 3 years, but has not really thrived at all)

My question is, is it possible to remove the trees to my new home and how much damage will I create by removing them? None is more than 4' high and around a 3' canopy.


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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

Well, you're picking one of the best times - fall going into winter. And, there will certainly be transplant shock no doubt, that will be unavoidable. They are pretty large trees, believe it or not, so try to get the largest root ball you possibly can. Wrap in wet burlap, try NOT to pick up the tree by the trunk (this can damage feeder roots), but pick up the tree by the bottom of the rootball. Re-plant as quickly as possible, water in well, and after about a week, water, then fertilize with 1/2 strength fruit tree fertilizer (low N) to help stimulate root growth. Figs should be dormant when you try to remove them and replant them.

Patty S.

This post was edited by hoosierquilt on Tue, Oct 15, 13 at 9:53

    Bookmark   October 15, 2013 at 9:52AM
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Dig the root ball at or slightly beyond the dripline of the canopy and about 2 feet deep. Ground to ground the same day, they should survive with minimal damage. Plant them at the same depth or slightly higher; and If it were me, I would give them a shot of B-1 along with the watering in; it is sort of an insurance policy and encourages root growth; it is available at most nursery and garden stores.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2013 at 6:38PM
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Thanks for the advice. I'm not sure how it will work for me because I'd like to get the trees out before I list my house. Otherwise, the trees will be expected to go with it, but the advice only considers digging them up and replanting that same day, which isn't feasible. Would it work if I dug them up and put them in pots?

    Bookmark   October 15, 2013 at 6:41PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

You can try that, see if you can find the large 1/2 wine or whisky barrels, since they're wide and not so deep. Two re-plantings, though, so expect some transplant shock. Vitamin B-1 has been dispelled as a root stimulator. Don't waste your time or money.

Better off with a low-nitrogen fertilizer (something for blooming plants, higher in P & K) at 1/2 strength, once planted back in the ground, and adequate water.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2013 at 8:30PM
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