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Question about transplanting a crabapple

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Topic by Cindy posted 05-13-2011 11:08 PM 1584 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Cindy

346 posts in 1334 days
hardiness zone 6

05-13-2011 11:08 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question transplanting tree zone 6

I have a small crabapple I need to move – I planted it last year, and I wanted it’s branches (as a mature tree) to slightly overlap the other full grown crabapple I have. There is absolutely no shade where I live, and these trees will shade the western side of my home, which can easily hit 100 degrees in the summer. Unfortunately, I misjudged the spacing, and they really are too close by at least 6 to 8 feet. Some of my friends say leave it be & prune them both more heavily where they will touch, but I think I’d prefer moving the youngin’ out. My reading has lead me to believe this would be the most stressful time to move it – past flowering, on the edge of summer. I’d really love to move it now if at all possible, the tree is super healthy. If I must, I can wait until the leaves drop and before a freeze – what I’ve read is best – it just means more roots to trim. Has anyone had success moving a crabapple in late fall? The one I want to move is about 7’ tall (mostly due to the main center trunk) and about 5’ across. The trunk is 2” at it’s widest, at the base. Any info/tips would be greatly appreciated! Thanks, Cindy

-- ~ Cindy, Virginia Appalachians, UDSA Hardiness Zone 6 ~



View Iris43's profile

Iris43

3807 posts in 2252 days
hardiness zone 5a

05-14-2011 12:54 AM

Of course, waitng till fall would be the best. And it is not going to grow so much more this summer to make it more difficult to move in the fall. But whether you wait or not…...take as much of the root ball as you possible can and water, water, water.

-- 'To plant a Garden is to believe in Tomorrow'

View Bon's profile

Bon

7374 posts in 2403 days
hardiness zone 5a

05-14-2011 02:50 PM

I agree with Iris I think I would wait till the fall to move it too.

-- Bon,Hastings,Ont.....zone 5a....Always room for one more

View bullseye's profile

bullseye

677 posts in 2445 days

05-14-2011 06:31 PM

I dug a crabapple tree ( Dolgo ) out last July from our previous home when we were moving, it was stuck in the moving truck for 5 days over the July long weekend, transplanted here in Ottawa in the heat of summer, thought I lost it but it’s now flowering.

For those that remember, the tree was planted in 2008 when my son was born, so it has sentimental value. It took me over 1hr to dig it out at the time

-- Hooked on Gardening.....Ontario zone 5b

View Cindy's profile

Cindy

346 posts in 1334 days
hardiness zone 6

05-14-2011 06:46 PM

It’s killing me to not move it now – it has doubled in size since I planted it last fall. We’ve had the rainiest, roughest spring I’ve experienced since moving here in ‘89, and worry that the root system is growing like crazy. I’ve read that crabapples are one of the most tolerant and easiest to transplant and I’m on vacation for nearly two weeks starting the middle of next week. I may be bad and risk it. If I do, I’ll dig a huge diameter hole and trim as little root as possible. Hopefully then the tree won’t use too much energy to regrow feeder roots. I won’t prune it at all this season, I want it to be able to produce all the energy it can. Hmm. I see I’ve talked myself into it. Wish my poor abused tree the best!

-- ~ Cindy, Virginia Appalachians, UDSA Hardiness Zone 6 ~

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

14682 posts in 2623 days
hardiness zone 5b

05-15-2011 01:59 AM

yah – wish it the best, give it good, loving thoughts before, during, and after, and talk to it lots, to help it recover quickly.

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

View Vince Kirchner's profile

Vince Kirchner

192 posts in 1412 days
hardiness zone 5b

05-15-2011 02:33 PM

If you decide against the move, you can train the branches to move in the direction you want. The horticulturalist from OSU stated that the branches can be trained in as little as six weeks using spreaders and twine. When young enough even wooden clothes pins will be suitable.

-- If you wouldn't spray it in your mouth, why would you spray it on your food?

View Radicalfarmergal's profile

Radicalfarmergal

4300 posts in 1885 days
hardiness zone 5b

05-15-2011 03:28 PM

Your comment “I won’t prune it at all this season” caught my attention. I am not an expert at moving trees, but I do know that if you reduce the size of the roots of a plant by transplanting, it is a good idea to reduce the upper part of the plant similarly, otherwise the roots may be unable to support all the growth on the upper part of the tree. I know when I transplanted my hawthorn, the deep spreading roots were difficult to remove but I got as many as I could, made clean cuts to eliminate any damaged root pieces (invites infection) and then heavily pruned the branches on top so that the roots would have a chance to re-establish themselves.

Good luck. Crab apple trees are pretty tough, I wish you the best.

-- "...I have nothing against authorities as such; I am only in favor of putting a question mark after just about everything they say." Ruth Stout

View Cindy's profile

Cindy

346 posts in 1334 days
hardiness zone 6

05-16-2011 04:23 AM

Hmmm, Radicalfarmergal, I’ll have to read up on that. I’d always thought (and don’t know why) that pruning the branches with the roots added extra stress to the tree, and slightly hindered recovery as the tree was doing double-time, as it were, to grow. Thanks for bringing it up, you gave me food for thought…

Vince, I had some friends look at the trees too, and we all feel that when full grown the branches will intermingle by a good 6 – 8 feet or possibly more (my “full grown” crabapple which is about 12 years old had a growth spurt this year. Heck, I think it does every year now that I think back!) So a move at some point is inevitable…but thanks for the idea!

-- ~ Cindy, Virginia Appalachians, UDSA Hardiness Zone 6 ~

View Cindy's profile

Cindy

346 posts in 1334 days
hardiness zone 6

05-18-2011 08:18 AM

Just an update to anyone that might notice – lol. I’ve decided to put my impatience aside and do what’s right for the poor tree – after all it’s shaping up to be a stunner, and I should reward it’s efforts ; )

I’ll wait until fall to transplant it. My reading says after the leaves drop but before a hard frost is best. Thanks to all for your input!

-- ~ Cindy, Virginia Appalachians, UDSA Hardiness Zone 6 ~

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

14682 posts in 2623 days
hardiness zone 5b

05-18-2011 11:14 AM

now don’t you feel better? :)

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

View Aileen Edword's profile

Aileen Edword

121 posts in 1241 days

05-25-2011 06:19 AM

If you don’t wish to move it , you can can train the branches to move in the direction you want. Or u can just cut the branches and keep it short enough that will solve your problem

-- http://www.mightygarden.com/flower-gardening.html

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