How to transplant young trees?

stoutdwarfMay 25, 2008

Does anyone here have advice/pointers on how to transplant a tree that's been in the ground for 6 months - 1 year?

I'm moving to the country (almost 5 acres) and there aren't any fruit trees there yet (unlike the small city plot where I'm living now, which has 5!)

A couple are too large, I think, but the others would probably make it.

How large should the diameter be? Will the plant be able to recover from losing many roots? Will root stimulator/frequent watering/fertilizer/cheesecloth help it to recover and re-establish itself during a Texas summer?

Thanks,

Matthew

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maden_theshade(8 - Austin)

First tip - don't transplant during the summer! sorry, it's just too d*mn hot right now for the poor things to make it. Unless you want to buy them each a little gazebo and some misting fans. And hire pool boys to bring them drinks all summer. :-)

When you do plant or transplant, the hole should be 2-3 times wider than the ball and no deeper than the root ball. Fill the hole w/ a good quality dirt that is similiar to what is around the tree. That way it won't be too shocked when it finally reaches home soil. I always hear to never put mulch at the bottom of the hole. I always forget and do it anyway, but it's supposed to be bad.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2008 at 12:18AM
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stoutdwarf

I put about a foot of mulch below each of my tree's rootballs. I am good at digging, and I always go overboard in that regard.

I have clay soil now, but the soil at my new home is black dirt. I will probably amend it just for fun, but there are a lot of farms in the area and I think the soil is very fertile.
(I could be wrong)

Thanks,

Matthew

    Bookmark   May 26, 2008 at 12:24AM
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stoutdwarf

I didn't mean mulch -- I meant compost (and other various types of "good dirt")

Did you actually mean MULCH at the bottom of your holes? That would be awful hard for the roots to get through, wouldn't it?

    Bookmark   May 26, 2008 at 12:26AM
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maden_theshade(8 - Austin)

Yes, like old leaves and stuff. I usually have a pile somewhere and tend to stuff it under any plant I'm putting in fresh, along w/ a worm or two. ha!

Seems like the experts on the radio say the mulch will be too deep under the tree to decompose properly and something bad will happen. I've never had any problems, but maybe I've just been lucky.

Compost is always recommended!

    Bookmark   May 26, 2008 at 12:30AM
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pjtexgirl(7b DFW)

This is what I understand about amending the "hole". (BTW, I'm going to attempt to transplant 15 trees under 6 ft in July this year...I know...I'm nuts.)
If the hole has good soil the tree roots want to stay there creating VERY shallow roots. As these roots run out of room they will circle causing the tree to be root bound in its' own hole. This is one tree guys advice. It worked very well for me. I established 22 nursery stock trees in July of 05 with 100% success rate. Let's see how great I am at transplanting! Wishing us BOTH luck! WHY CAN'T ANYTHING WORK OUT IN FALL or SPRING??? PJ

Here is a link that might be useful: how Garrett plants his trees

    Bookmark   May 28, 2008 at 1:56PM
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maden_theshade(8 - Austin)

Yes! I've also heard to make the hole 'jagged' or with an irregular edge, to also prevent the roots from circling.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2008 at 1:54PM
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BlaineC

I have almost pure clay soil, so I have to take special measures. I have not tested this method but I know first hand that death occurs if overwatered in a clay "bowl". I lost 2 $1,000 Shumard Oaks because they were overwatered. Since then, I dig the hole to leave a peak in the clay in the center of the hole so that if water accumulates in the hole, the tree sits high and the roots may stay out of the water. I also use a 2" auger bit and drill into the rim of the hole - the deeper part about 1-2 feet out from the center of the hole - and let sand fall into this. I have even gone so far as to hammer perforated PVC pipe down into the clay after drilling the holes and filling this with sand. All of this done in the bottom of the hole before even putting the tree in it.

I love the idea about making the edge of the hole jagged. I never would have thought of this, but I see in my mind's eye a hard wall of dirt at the edge of the hole. What is the root going to do when it hits this? Great idea!!!

    Bookmark   March 30, 2013 at 2:14PM
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phoenix7801

The key I believe is if you have a circular football why dig a circular hole. Dig a square that way the roots won't continue to spiral in a circle.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2013 at 3:47PM
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