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Moving an apple tree


 
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"Deadhead"
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Joined: 15 Sep 2009
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Location: Galway

PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2009 10:08 am    Post subject: Moving an apple tree Reply with quote

Hi! Can I move this apple tree Sucessfully? ( photo below). It is approx 7/8 years old.
Thanks.



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cooler
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2009 12:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Apple trees move very successfully in my experience. Even ones the size of yours "Deadhead". The usual rules apply such as preparing a new planting hole much wider than the roots to go into it, try to carry as much undamaged roots with you, and if any are damaged you should cut them back cleanly. Double stake the transplant and water religiously. just don't expect apples for a few years.
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BlackBird
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2009 1:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As careful as you will be you will damage roots on your move, so the amount of water going to the tree will be lessened. Give the transplant a regular twice weekly heavy watering (unless rained on) to help make up for the damaged roots. Carry this out until this time next year. In the first six months after tranplanting avoid all fertilisers which promise to give it a boost. The salts in these can injure the cut or broken roots.

Good luck.
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"Deadhead"
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2009 2:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for your advice! Should I wait until the leaves and the "few" remaining apples are gone from the tree before transplanting? Thanks.
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BlackBird
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2009 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Deadhead" wrote:
Should I wait until the leaves and the "few" remaining apples are gone from the tree before transplanting?


Yes to be sure. November should be a good time for the move.

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kindredspirit
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2009 4:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Moved a 35 year old apple tree in February last year.

It was moved to a new location 3 miles away and last autumn had only 5 apples. This autumn it has about 20 apples. When it was in my garden it had "hundreds" of apples. So it's on the way back.

So if a 35 year old tree can be moved successfully then there should be no problem with an 8 year old tree.

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"Deadhead"
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2009 9:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Kindredspirit! There's hope for my tree so!! I'll nurse it back to health.. as it does have lovely red eating apples!
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James Kilkelly, was GPI.
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2009 11:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Deadhead", a very brief overview of transplanting.

Transplant in autumn or winter for deciduous (sheds and renews leaves annually) plants
Transplant in late winter/almost spring for evergreen/coniferous plants.

Root pruning the year before moving trees and shrubs help them prepare for their upcoming move.
This can be done by driving a sharp spade deep into the soil on the outskirts of the tree/plant.
It will then form finer roots in those areas which will help it establish itself better when moved the following year.

A rule of thumb to follow is for each 1 inch of stem girth or diameter you should dig a rootball of 12 inches across.
This not only indicate how wide to dig around your transplant, but also how wide to create the pit it is to be transplanted into.
In fact I would organise that the new planting pit is dug before you even attempt to lift the transplant, thus minimising the time the transplants roots are exposed to the air.
a new planting pit twice expected the diameter of the root ball would be ideal.

Deeply water the plant to be moved every day for approx five days before moving

Before you begin digging and to ease your movement around the plant it may be worth your while to tie up any existing branches which may get in your way.
You may also need to remove a certain amount of branches to allow you work around the plant and to make it managable for transporting.

It is worth noting that trees/plants with large evergreen leaves eg laurel, Fatsia etc., that you can reduce the water loss from the large leaves by cutting some of them off cleanly.
This diverts the reduced water supply of the transplant into core survival rather than the support of massed leaves.
Your transplant will start off in its new home with a lighter load to support.
You are in essence balancing the top to the roots
Their leaves will later regrow.

When digging around the plant you will be trying to dig up as much as possible of the complete roots including the fibrous fine roots.
Start with a circular trench then begin to dig across and beneath the plant from all sides.
Avoid levering the plant/tree out of the ground as this can lead to root ball breakage.
Try to retain as much soil as possible
You want every root within the root ball to be unaware that they have even been moved.

Continue digging until the plant becomes loose and ready to be lifted.
How easy or hard this is depends on how large or small the tranplant is.

Lean against the stem or stems causing the rootball to lift off the soil on one side.
Slide some strong canvas sacking or plastic film beneath the roots.
Then by leaning the plant in other directions you can pull the carrying sheet through.
As you can tell this is a two (three, four) person job
Once central on the sheet a group should be able to remove the plant from the ground, root ball intact.

Plants/trees should be kept moist while out of the ground.
One trick many gardeners use is having canvas or hessian sack cloth as the transport material as it can be bound up around the roots then kept dampened.
Whatever way you keep your transplants rehydrated it goes without saying that they should be re-planted again as soon as possible.

When it comes to re-planting you can ease the plant into the hole making sure that the top of the root ball is roughly level with the surrounding ground level.
Planting too low or too high can spell failure.
Don't forget to inspect the roots, and if any are torn or damaged then trim them back.
You should use a half topsoil and half compost back-fill mix for transplanting, work this around the transplant in the pit with your fingers to eliminate any air pockets.
Water the transplant heavily and ensure you water well for its first year.

Stake your transplant, and if it is top heavy or exposed to wind then double stake it.

Prune out any diseased, dead or dying branches/leaves after 6 months, then at monthly intervals if they show up.
Be aware that even with the best of care and good root growth that your transplant may not show much growth until its roots reach their original spread prior to transplantation.

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