Transplanting fruit tree seedlings

Discussion in 'Planting, growing, nurturing Plants' started by pebble, Sep 7, 2009.

  1. pebble

    pebble Junior Member

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    I've got a couple of what I think are peach seedlings (or some other stone fruit) that have popped up in a pot plant, and I want to pot them up and look after them until they are big enough to plant somewhere. They're about 6 cm high. Is now the right time to move them?

    Any other advice appreciated, as I've not worked with tree seedlings much.
     
  2. trimnut2

    trimnut2 Junior Member

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    Re: Transplanting fruit tree seedlings

    Have they emerged this current season? If the pot is big enough and they have just emerged I would leave them there. Transplant them next winter. They will not grow too much in the first season.

    If you need transplant them: soak well then carefully tip them out into a container of water. Hopefully the potting mix is not too tight and will fall away gently from the plant roots. Immediately replant in the correct location making sure that no damage is done to the fine root hairs. If possible gently washing soil into them rather than forcing soil up to the roots is wisest. Once replanted maintain good moisture levels, but do not overwater. Protect from exposure: wind or sun.

    Consider grafting them to good cultivars.
     
  3. pebble

    pebble Junior Member

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    Re: Transplanting fruit tree seedlings

    I have to transplant them (the current pot is fixed and not in a good place for them to grow in).

    Why should the soil fall away from the roots? If I was moving perennial herbs I'd leave as much soils as possible and disturb the roots as little as possible that way. Is it different for trees, or just another way of doing it?
     
  4. trimnut2

    trimnut2 Junior Member

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    Re: Transplanting fruit tree seedlings

    I was hoping the potting mix was friable enough for that to happen.

    If you are able to move them with minimal disturbance to the soil all power to you. My description is merely another way of doing it, as you correctly ask. When moving plants disturb the roots as little as possible. Avoiding root damage is the key.
     
  5. pebble

    pebble Junior Member

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    Re: Transplanting fruit tree seedlings

    Great, thank-you, will see how I go.
     
  6. pebble

    pebble Junior Member

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    So I repotted them in September, turns out they are apricots. They've been growing well for four months and now seem to be outgrowing their pots. There are roots coming out the bottom, although that might be because they've been sitting in the garden. My question now is, do I pot them on? Now or wait 'til late autumn? I've not worked with raising trees much, and stone fruit not at all, so am not sure what is best. Mostly I'm concerned about about how windy and drying it's been here and it seems not a good time of year for repotting generally. But is it ok the let them get root bound?

    While I'm here, they're growing quite bushy. Does this matter at this stage in terms of later pruning and shape?
     
  7. Bird

    Bird Junior Member

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    it would be best to wait until the trees are dormant
     
  8. pebble

    pebble Junior Member

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    Thanks :)
     
  9. Grahame

    Grahame Senior Member

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    Pebble, I just need to get clear on what it is you wish to do. Are you potting them into a bigger pot? or out into the ground?

    Personally, I don't think you need to wait until they are dormant if you are just re-potting. However its a different story if you are going to plant them into the ground - if the roots are already winding around the inside of the pot you will need to wait until dormancy and then wash all of the potting mix off, this way you will be able to prune the roots and unwind them, otherwise the roots will just continue going around and around leading to a very unstable tree later.
     
  10. pebble

    pebble Junior Member

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    Oh thanks, yes I was wondering if I should repot because the roots are growing out the bottom of the pot already. I've had them sitting in the garden so they may not be root bound, they may just be sending the roots down through the pot to the garden. I only potted them up in September and didn't expect to do anything else until autumn (march april), but they are growing alot (30cm so far). Would definitely not try planting them in the ground at this time of year.

    I'm not sure if I will be able to plant them in the ground this autumn/winter though (and actually I need to check when fruit trees are planted here because it might be the spring. It's a new climate for me). They may need to stay in pots for another year, so it would be good to get this right.

    Would appreciate any information about site placement for apricots if anyone has ideas.
     
  11. pebble

    pebble Junior Member

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    I potted them on into bigger pots, and they've done really well, and now I want to plant them. People here plant fruit trees in spring because there is the most moisture in the ground. However the year old saplings are about to flower. Should I plant this month or wait? Until when? They're self seeded trees and are going to have to tough it out where they're going.
     
  12. pippimac

    pippimac Junior Member

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    pebble, I reckon if they're not much more than 6cm tall, they're likely to get overwhelmed by weeds/mulch.
    You could dig the pots half into the ground, which will stop them drying out too much. The roots will grow into the soil, just prune them off when you plant.
    'They' recommend pruning in summer to avoid silverleaf, but if the trees are still small, I'd wait till next season.
    I'd remove the blossoms though, let them put their energy into growing for a few years.
    I hope they turn out to be goodies, you're in the right spot for apricots!
     
  13. pebble

    pebble Junior Member

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    Hi pippi, that was a year ago that they were 6cm (I keep resurrecting the thread). They're now 35 and 50cm tall so I think they will be ok. They've been in 20 litre containers since Jan. I just wasn't sure if planting them while flowering and budding was ok, but I think the longer I leave it the less time they'll have to recover before it gets dry again. That's good to know about removing the blossoms, I wonder if I can bring myself to do that ;-)
     
  14. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    The week before the full moon is supposed to be the time to plant fruit crops.
    Full moon is supposed to be on the 23 according to my diary.
     
  15. pippimac

    pippimac Junior Member

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    I'd go for it then!
    I just planted a few fruit trees last week, and I imagine Otago's a bit behind Wellington.
    You should have another couple of months before everything burns to a frazzle shouldn't you?
    Go on, get rid of the blossoms. Cruel to be kind and all that...
     
  16. pebble

    pebble Junior Member

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    Thanks you two :) This month it is then.
     

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