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is it possible?

lahore, Pakistan

I wish to remove 6 trees approx 5-6 ft high of apple n apricot from one location to other, trees already flowering n new leaves n buds are sprouting. Can it b done? I intend usind excavator with bucket 2 ft removing entire chunk of soil with it. Is it right. People are telling me that it can't help trees would dry soon? How is it possible? Can this be done? Everything is possible.....impossible takes a bit more time....Advise please ASAP I have less time thanx

Opp, AL(Zone 8b)

If you are able to provide water for the trees until the roots are recovered and established in the new soil, this can be done. Prepare the new holes before digging up the trees so they can be replanted as quickly as possible. Water trees a day or two before digging them up to make sure you are not moving thirsty trees. The fruit for this year would probably be lost.

Durhamville, NY(Zone 5b)

The only way I'd even try it is if the trees where doing to be killed anyway. An example would be in the middle of a construction zone.

The problem that you have when you transplant plant is that you damage the roots severely and thus make it very hard for the plant to take in water. What kills a transplant is dehydration for the most part.

You are on the right track as far as taking as large a root ball as possible. The other thing I'd do is to prune heavily. Plants lose water through their leaves and the best success I've had transplanting plants during times when they are actively growing is to remove lots of leaves. I looked up Lahore before and if I remember correctly it gets quite hot and dry in the summer. You are going to have to water a lot. Maybe two times a day depending on you soil. Too much and you drown them or they develop fungus problems, too little and the dry out.

If you decide to do this you, are going to have to basically have to make a plant ICU for them. You'll be lucky if they all make it.

I've never tried a fruit trees and I expect 3 years for them to recover. That is this year, next year and the year after I'd think they would be back on tract if all went well.

I'd also shade them as the more photosynthesis a plant does the more water it looses.

One other thing. If you are going to move them one a truck you need to cover them well and keep the wind from drying them out.

Good luck and let us know how it comes out if you try.

lahore, Pakistan

Thanx all, well before I cud implement all these precious advises my subordinates had already taken them out, but God has his ways, it is racing for last two days n I hav got them relocated well planted in soil, the holes were dug already out of compulsion as I cud arrange the heavy plant for two days before yesterday one serial OK, holes dug already. Next for watering....umm it has been raining for the last 4 days, another serial checked. As for watering them is raining n wyd perhaps rain fr another two days, another checked. As for leaves...since spring is yet to set in so the trees are without leaves just flowers, can v check this as well? . I am supplementing the soil with Dung n todaywud pour fertilizer as well will that be Ok?; I wil post pics in few time for ur evaluation. I think perhaps the nature itself wants the trees to be relocated, we can just pray now I will feel guilty if they dont grow n die: (

Prairieville, LA(Zone 9a)

Do not give the trees fertilizer. Do you have access to a product called Root Stimulator? That encourages root growth and that is what the trees need roots. As long as it is raining everyday, you do not need to give additional water. You may lose all the blooms, so no fruit production this year, but since the trees are fairly small, they should survive...I would recommend a good heavy layer of mulch around them to help keep moisture in and it will also help keep the roots cooler so they are not as stressed by the move.

Here is some additional information for you. I hope you find this helpful.

Opp, AL(Zone 8b)

Great that it is raining! Seems divine to me too. Good luck!

Durhamville, NY(Zone 5b)

Rain is you friend and the fact that they haven't leafed out yet is good. If it was me and they tried to set fruit I think I'd pull it all off so that the tree will put it's energy into growing roots. Many plants, if you stress them, will try to produce seed so that they have offspring.

Opp, AL(Zone 8b)

I would not remove anything from the trees and let them do whatever they are capable of doing.

Doug, the theory you mention is usually expressed in conjunction with potted tropical plants and the catch-phrase, "likes to be pot- or root-bound." Fruit trees are not a type of plant to which I've seen this theory attached before, but readily admit that reading about fruit trees in particular is not something I've spent much time doing. Did you find this advice in regard to fruit trees?

The opposite sentiment would be that a healthy, vigorous plant is necessary for the production of flowers (the first step in producing seeds.) Knowing that the roots are the vital organs which provide moisture and nutrients to a plant, and they must be healthy and in such mass that they can securely hold a plant in place, it's illogical to imagine that stressing them through confinement is likely to induce a plant to perform a special task beyond just clinging to life. Then there is the knowledge that such plant, in its' natural non-potted habitat, would perform reliably and predictably. Just doesn't mesh at all to me.

I've seen virtually no evidence, except in regard to a very small number of genuses, that this condition alone generally produces more flowers than plants with plenty of room for roots, nor any evidence that any plant that is not a true annual would sacrifice root production. Conversations/instructions about such rarely give any consideration to the age and maturity of plants, which in most cases is probably an important yet overlooked factor, as well as vastly different latitudes, sun exposures, fertilizers, soils, temps, humidity, etc... Rare is the plant that does not have a growth spurt after having its' roots pruned and given space in which to grow vigorously again.

The reality seems to be, in a vast majority of these cases, that some of the potting soils are so water-retentive - and/or people water their plants so often - and/or let water sit in drip trays, that many plants simply suffer from rotting roots unless/until their roots so fill a pot that excess water simply has no room to cause ill health.

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