Monday, November 7, 2011

Transplanted fruit trees

During winter 2011 we transplanted all in all four mature trees. The last one not even four weeks ago. We transplanted an orange tree first, then two plum trees and last but not least a blood organise tree whoch found a new spot in front of the house. 
The last one gave me the biggest worry, as it was already mid-october before the tree found its new place. Unclear about what the weather would be like it was a bit of a bargain to transplant it that late in the cool season. But there was no choice and the tree had to go at its other place. I was lucky enough to get it donated.
The tree is much smaller than the other two, only about 1.30m high. I had doug the hole and watered it well plus filled it with compost the day before we got it. the previous owner pruned it back hard and used seasol on its roots for four days prior to digging it out. He also sprayed the tree with stress relief spray of some kind. The foilage got reduced by about two third.

The efforts appeared to have paid off. Although the tree had lost most of its little fruits that already had set from the last orange blossoms, it has not lost any leaves yet and seems to like its new spot in full sun. I water it regularly after reading that a transplanted tree needs at least about 5l of water daily on a hot day. Also the weather is kind to us as Perth is going through an unprecedented rainy period. October got the most rain in 13 years.

Two plum trees were transplanted at the same time around mid August. Again the soil was prepaired well with compost, bentonite clay and chicken manure. the trees were quite high, about 2.50m.

The trees were pruned before the transplanting and, similar to the orange tree, their root system is quite shallow. When we put them into the ground the roots were nearly bare.

I was surprised to see how differently both trees took to the new location. The left one flowered in September and developed leaves right away.
The second plum tree took a lot longer to show any sign of growth and is still flowering low at the start of November. I am worried how they will ever get pollinated, flowering to far apart from each other. Am thinking about grafting another branch ontothem if next year they flower that much apart. Now the late plum is growing leaves as well and all seems to be ok. Will wait with the grafting decision until next year anyway.

The first tree we transplanted into the garden was a mature orange tree, about 15 years old and 2.5m high. Although heavily pruned we lost more branches during the transport on the ute.

This tree later lost some leaves but not that many. It also kept only a few of the flower buds. However, the treatemtn must have been right. During the past months hundreds of new buds have emerged. The tree is flowering everywhere at the moment.

There is a gorgeous smell and it appears like a wonder that the tree, after being moved to a new location, could find the strengths of sending out this many flower buds. Compost and worm juice certainly helped. But the pictures are stunning. What a view!

Successful transplanting of fruit trees, even if they are mature trees, is possible with the right preparation, in the the right time, with love for the tree and an eye onto the moon  planting calendar.  Give it a shot before you throw the tree out.

If you have a fruit tree to give away, put it into the quokka or give your local community garden a call if you need a new home for your fruit tree.