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transplanting mature citrus trees

04 Mar 2009 21:11 #1441 by tanyad
tanyad created the topic: transplanting mature citrus trees
We planted a Lane Late dwarf naval orange about 8 years ago. Unfortunately, we didn't plan well and planted it in a location where it does not get enough sun. During the last storm the wind blew down a large mock orange "tree." The good part of that is that now there is room for another fruit tree. We were wondering what the success rate of transplanting a mature citrus tree is, or should we just buy a new young tree and start over?

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08 Apr 2009 13:45 #1482 by walter
walter replied the topic: Re:transplanting mature citrus trees
Hello Tanyad,
Generally Citrus are grown in 5, 7 and 15 gallon containers. A few do have them in 20 to 24 inch boxes. With this said, there are several different sizes you might find. By far, the most popular are 5 gallon, lowest cost, and easiest to handle. If you go with a 5 gallon size you porbably won't get fruit for at least a year or so. If the tree does produce some fruit, I think it would be good to pick that fruit off. This lets the energy needed for that fruit to go into the growth of the tree. In the first year you should get a lot of new growth all over the tree, perhpas a foot or more of new growth. So this size tree should be comperable to a 7 gallon size (or larger) in the first year. What you are buying is 'time'. If you want to speed the process some, go for the 7 gallon or even a 15 gallon size. You just get a large tree sooner. You need to keep in mind the larger trees are much heavier, 15 gallon might weigh close to 90 pounds or so. Also you will need to dig a large hole for 7 gallon and 15 gallon size trees. If this is all fine with you, you should be successful with any of those sizes. If you choose a boxed tree, they will run 150 to 200 pounds and you will probably need some help. IF you do go with this size, you should have the hole large enough (deep) to accomodate the root ball, probably about 18" to 20" deep. Also the hole should be about a foot wider (6" all sides) than the box so you can get it in the hole and you might want to move it just a little one way or another. If you go with the boxed tree, leave the box on until everything is in the hole, box and all. Then remove the box. This way there is not much chance to have the root ball fall apart. Also it leaves room for amended soil around the new root ball.
Large Citrus (boxed) are not too common, it is a lot more work and a lot more costly to buy and plant them. You will also have the best selction of varities in the 5 and 7 gallon size trees.

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09 Apr 2009 06:47 #1483 by Mitch
Mitch replied the topic: Re:transplanting mature citrus trees
we moved a substantial size valencia orange once after we moved into a new house, i think it was in early summer. we got as big of root ball as possible and moved it across the yard, it didn't like it at all, and after about 6 months it had lost all it's leaves and i wanted to take it out. My wife wouldn't let me - i kept saying "i'm going to take that thing out and plant a new fruit tree" months went by and still no leaves, just a dead looking trunk and branches, and it was bare root season (i love bare root fruit tree season) and I said to myself - i'm getting the shovel and digging that thing up, I THINK IT HEARD ME - because as i walked up with the shovel i noticed a bunch of new little leaves, almost microscopic, so i couldn't dig it up!

To this day i think the leaves popped out when i was walking towards it:woohoo:

9 years later it's doing great, i'd still rather have taken it out, but you can't win them all.

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