[nafex] Re: Fall Transplanting

Tom Olenio tolenio at sentex.net
Mon Nov 27 08:20:30 EST 2000


I read somewhere that although deciduoius trees are "dormant" in winter, the
trees are still growing, albeit so slowly it is unperceptible.  It would
make sense or callusing would never happen over the winter.

My guess would be that based on your climate, and whether the tree was
potted or field dug, you would need to take different precautions when
transplanting in the fall.  But a fall transplant has more time to slowly
aclimate to the new location.

This fall I moved a mature dwarf apple tree and I took all the precautions I
could find.  The roots are mulched with 4" of wood chips, it was watered
regularly, the trunk and main branches were wrapped in heavy paper.  All
done to help reflect winter heat and retain moisture (even sprayed it with
antidesicant spray before I wrapped it in paper).

I don't expect my newly transplanted mature tree to do much next year but
put down new roots, but I suspect it will make it through the winter.  I am
hoping that it is unperceptibly settling in to its new home.


edforest55 at hotmail.com wrote:

> Hartman's Plantation claims that you will get 20% more growth from
> fall transplanted blueberries. They say that is for zones 5 or warmer.
> I've kept my eyes peeled for info on this subject for some time as I
> would like to know the reasons that plants prefer to be planted at
> one time over another.
> The general rule I have been told is evergreens in the spring,
> deciduoius in the fall except chestnut and oak which retain their
> leaves longer into the cold season and lose moisture.
> What I want to know is why some plants do better when transplanted in
> the fall. At first I thought it was because the soil had more of a
> chance to settle tightly up agains the roots so that they would be
> all ready to absorb moisture in the spring. Perhaps that is part of
> the reason or THE reason but I heard that callusing is a factor and
> this seems to me to be the the most logical explanation, that if you
> can make your root cuts in the fall and the soil temperature in the
> fall is conducive to callusing that particular species (and pear and
> apple do like to callus between 50 and warmer temps pear even cooler
> than apple I suspect since the grafts heal later than apple in the
> fall when I chip bud). So that in the spring, when the temps are
> right for root growth, there isn't that two week or so wait for the
> fall planted stock to callus and then send out roots, they can send
> out their roots immediately. If this is actually the way it works
> then, yes, fall planted stock would be two weeks or so  ahead of
> spring planted stock that still is callusing in April, the fall
> planted stock can then take advantage of the wet April soil.
> If this all is the way it works (I'm still just guessing here) then
> one might make it an important practice to at least trim the roots in
> the fall even if they can't be planted right away. Or to trim those
> rootstocks as soon as they arrive rather than to wait to the day
> they're planted. Such a practice might achieve the same advantages as
> fall planting if the condiitions are ok for callusing.
> On another but related subject:
> This year the apple trees were still loaded with leaves as the ground
> was freezing. I don't ever remember this happening before. So I
> transplanted some trees that had quite a few leaves on them still. I
> pulled the leaves off so that they wouldn't transpire water from a
> compromised root system. But I didn't know if the
> artifial 'abscission' would cause any harm, such as moisture loss or
> hormone imbalances.  Do you know, anyone?
> Kevin B

Thomas Olenio
Ontario, Canada
Hardiness Zone 6a

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