[nafex] apricot seeds

HDessureault inter.verbis at atreide.net
Sat Mar 30 12:46:19 EST 2002

Hi Del,
Fruit trees don't transplant so well when they are in a growing stage, the
leaves tend to dry out if the roots are disturbed too much. This is why
fruit trees are usually transplanted when they are dormant.
A few things come to mind :
1. You could transplant the seedlings, as you mention, after last day of
frost taking care not to disturb the roots. (The rootlets provide humidity
and they are very easily disturbed, I would have reservation about this)
2. You could transplant according to a method that I have used before when
it becomes necessary to transplant a small tree with the leaves out. (See
the description below)
3. You could tranplant the small trees in the Fall when they have become
dormant. When possible, this would be the preferred method for deciduous in
a cold climate. I transplant everything in the Fall now, seedlings and
trees, and I find it works much better and gives time to the roots to
establish in the winter (The roots do grow during the winter while the tree
is dormant) and the next summer the trees fare better. It is also the way
with the least troubles, except that in your case, you would have to grow
the seedlings in their container all summer, which can be time consuming

Here is a method for transplanting trees during the growing season:
I learned this method many years ago at a Nafex congress in Pennsylvania
given to us by a gentleman with so much information that he could have
talked all day. His field was kiwis, but his knowledge about growing things
was multidirectional.
You plant your seedling in the permanent location. You plant a few sticks
around it higher than the seedling. You make a tent over it with an open
plastic garbage bag black or dark green. You then have a dome or a teepee
shape over the seedling. You put big stones around the base, spread out as
wide as possible, to keep the dome into place. The plastic bag would be too
hot normally, but the wide base allows for a temperature exchange with the
soil so that the air inside stays fairly stable, warm and humid.
There is no light, so no photosynthesis and also minimum evaporation from
the leaves. The tree "concentrate" on the roots establishment and the leaves
remain exactly the way they were at transplant.
I didn't get any information on when you can remove the bag, but,
personally,  I leave it about three weeks to a month. I remove the bag in
the evening when the weather is expected to be overcasted for the next day
or so and I water the seedlings. The tree resume growing normally as soon as
it get light.
Do not transplant with this method at the time when the seedling is in a
sprouting stage (before true leaves are established) or the sprout will get
long, leggy and weak. Do not let in a bit of light as the vegetation part
will keep on growing in the reduced light and get long, leggy and weak.

To sum this up, you might say that you give the tree the impression it is
night time (a long  night)....

If you want to plant your apricots in June, this is how I would do it.
Hélène, zone 3-4

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