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Root ball size for fruit trees?

Discussion in 'Edible Gardening' started by nikirushka, Mar 2, 2012.

  1. nikirushka

    nikirushka Gardener

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    Hi, I am 'adopting' two fruit trees from a friend (pear and edible apple, I think).

    Both are about 6yrs old but have been kept small, 6' high max and have recently been trimmed too so they will be around 3-4' across at the most.

    The trunks are around 6" thick as I recall.

    How big a root ball should I dig on each to transplant them?


    Also, in a similar vein - how drastic can I be with pruning a mature apple tree? I already have a ~30yr old bramley cooking apple tree, but I haven't pruned it in the 5yrs I've been here (health problems have stopped me, but sorted now). The crop last year was rubbish, it really needs a serious prune now before it blossoms but I really don't know where to start! It's mostly gone straight up and out, lots of long, straightish branches which I guess need to come out?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Jack McHammocklashing

    Jack McHammocklashing Sludgemariner

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    I should think the rootball would have to be about a square metre, which would weigh about one tonne plus the tree itself ?

    Jack McHammocklashing
     
  3. Nosivad

    Nosivad Apprentice Gardener

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    Not really a reply but a question. Moving to another allotment site want to take my apple and plum trees with me, when is the best time to do this please? Trees are about four foot tall and a couple still have fruit on them.
     

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  4. Redwing

    Redwing Wild Gardener

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    When they are dormant, November to early March is best. If you have to move quickly end of Sept or Oct is OK. Take the largest amount of root as you can. Keep well watered in the first spring and summer after transplanting. They should be fine as they don't look very old.
     
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    • pete

      pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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      Nurseries often replant young trees a couple of times I believe.
      It's done to create a compact root ball of fine roots.

      Yours look fairly young, not sure how long they have been there, but should move OK once the leaves have dropped would be the best time I'm thinking.

      A good stake might be an idea for a few years once moved.
       

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