How to transplant a tree seedling


How to transplant found tree seedlings on your property

Maybe you’d like to move some shade trees to a sunny spot in your yard. Or perhaps have some trees growing closer to a window so you can observe the birds and wildlife who feed on or live in those trees. Transplanted trees can also make good windbreaks along open driveways and always add to the beauty of your landscape.

Anyone with some native tree species already growing on their land has a ready-made natural nursery from which to select seedlings for transplanting. It’s a matter of identifying the species you have on one spot of your property that you’d like to have growing on another spot.

Maine has 66 native tree species growing from Kittery to Fort Kent. These include evergreen species like cedar, pine, fir and spruce; and deciduous species including maple, elm, oak, aspen, birch, ash and willow.

From an ecological standpoint, all of the native species evolved to grow without human-added soil amendments in the Maine ecosystem. At the same time, insects, reptiles, wildlife and birds native to Maine evolved right along with these trees and need them for food and shelter. Simply put, you can’t have one without the other, so by transplanting native trees and promoting their growth, you are helping Maine’s native creatures survive.

Here’s what you need to know.

How to dig a seedling

The first thing you need to do is find a seedling. Look around the base of that tree to find its seedlings which are basically its babies. By following a few simple steps you can safely dig that seedling out of the ground and replant — or transplant — it as far as you want from the parent tree. With a bit of tender, loving care, that seedling will eventually grow into a mature tree.

Dave Hobbins, retired professor of forestry at the University of Maine at Fort Kent, has spent decades transplanting native trees on his Fort Kent property with great success and minimal equipment. All he uses is a shovel with a sharp blade and a file to keep it sharp.

Using his shovel, Hobbins digs a circle around the seedling covering an area that lets him collect as much of the tiny tree’s roots and soil as possible.

“My rule is to dig up as much as I can carry,” he said. “The more roots and soil you can capture, the better.”

Using a sharp shovel, he said, allows him to cleanly cut the tree’s roots out of the ground without tearing them. A root that has been cleanly cut grows faster and stronger than one that has been torn, Hobbins said.

“If I notice a root has torn, I’ll use a pair of garden clippers to snip the end off to give it that clean cut,” he said.

Most of Maine’s trees have fairly shallow roots, so you don’t need to dig too deeply to collect a seedling, Hobbins said.

Once the seedling, roots and soil are dug up, place them in a container like a bucket, box or cloth bag for transport to its new location.

Transplanting the seedling

Before putting the seedling in the ground, you need to dig a hole wide enough and deep enough for the roots to be completely covered by the soil and to spread out.

“A common problem people have is putting seedlings in narrow holes that don’t allow the roots to grow out easily,” Hobbis said. “If you don’t spread those roots out when you plant the seedling, they will actually grow in place and strangle the tree, killing it.”

Once the seedling is transplanted, Hobbins said it should be watered daily or as often as needed to keep the soil around it moist for two or three weeks after planting.

When to transplant

According to Hobbins, there is a right and a wrong time of the year to transplant tree seedlings.

“You want to make sure you are digging up the seedling when it’s dormant,” Hobbins said. “That means before its buds “break” or open up, or after the season’s new growth has hardened up.”

In Maine buds typically break as soon as temperatures warm up in the spring in April and May, so you want to get your seedlings before then. Exactly when a tree starts to bud is species specific, so if you have your eye on a particular specimen, it’s a good idea to get out there as soon as the ground thaws enough to allow you to dig, but it’s not warm enough to trigger the new season’s growth.

If you miss that window, wait until late July and August when Maine’s trees have stopped growing for the year.

“The seedling is going to react to having its roots cut off and you will have a bit of die-back no matter how careful you are,” Hobbins said. “If its buds are open there is a good chance they will also be damaged [so] moving it with unopened buds presents less chance to damage them and is one less thing the tree has to deal with.”

Planting for success

Trees are amazingly resilient and can survive a great deal of abuse, according to Hobbins. But you still want to give them every chance you can to grow.

“With seedlings you want to give them space without a lot of competition,” Hobbins said. “You especially want to keep them out of sod [because] grass is thick rooted and it will take the tree seedling’s roots five or six years to start going anywhere [through the grass roots] and for the tree to grow.”

As for what seedling size is the best for transplanting, Hobbins said you can safely transplant a seedling ranging from a few inches to several feet, but smaller is generally better as you can collect most of its roots.

How To Transplant a Tree Safely: A Step-by-Step Guide

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Whether they’re deciduous or evergreen, shade or ornamental, trees add value and curb appeal to any property. But occasionally, a tree’s placement presents some problems. Perhaps it blocks a construction project like a home expansion or deck addition. Maybe the tree is floundering from inadequate light, soil, or water conditions in its current location.

A tree might also start growing too close to the house or surrounding structures, preventing healthy development. Whatever the situation, that poorly positioned tree doesn’t have to get you down or get chopped down. As long as the healthy sapling’s tree trunk isn’t larger than 2 inches in diameter, a tree owner can follow this guide for how to transplant a tree to another spot in the yard.

If you’re considering how to transplant a tree within your property, be sure to time it right: Trees should be moved during late fall or early spring, since the tree’s dormant state allows for speedy root growth in the new location. If transplanting in the fall, complete the task early enough for the roots to get established before the ground freezes.

Even so, you should start your project much sooner than that; tree roots must be pruned several months prior to the transplant to help the tree thrive in its new location. Keep reading for instructions on how to prune as well as how to transplant your tree—and how to ensure it survives in its new home.

Reasons to Relocate a Tree, Shrub, or Large Plant

Trees do more than add greenery, fruit, or flowers to a landscape. People plant trees to shade patios, driveways, homes, and other plants. Sometimes, a tree outgrows the space it lives in and infringes on structures above the ground or plumbing pipes below. Mature trees can grow too closely to power lines and pruning is just not enough.

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Conditions around a tree can change. For example, the city might add a sidewalk, the neighbor puts up a fence, or the garage fills, forcing the shiny family car out to the driveway and under a bird-loving tree.

Some people move to a home with established trees that were planted too close to the house, with the wrong sun exposure, or in a spot where deer or elk are damaging it. Transplanting a tree can prevent damage to a car, roof, and people—or save the tree itself.

Tools & Materials
  • Flat spade
  • Shovel
  • Pruning shears
  • Loppers (optional)
  • Natural burlap
  • Twine
  • See full list «
  • Tarp
  • Mulch
  • Tree stakes

First, Prune the Roots

The process of transplanting a tree begins several months before relocating it with pruning of the roots. This act encourages the growth of new feeder roots (which absorb water and nutrients) closer to the tree’s base to help the tree better adapt to its new location.

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If you’re planning to transplant a tree in the fall, then prune roots during the previous spring. If you’re planning to transplant a tree in the spring, then prune roots the previous fall. Plan ahead and prep the tree before cutting any roots by following the steps below.

STEP 1: Water the tree before pruning.

To properly prepare the tree for pruning, water it well the day before. Watering helps ensure the soil sticks to the roots, and moist soil is easier to dig into. Water the area around the matured root ball at least 24 hours before pruning the roots. Apply water slowly through a drip system or from a hose set to a low flow.

how to transplant a tree

STEP 2: Assess how much of the roots to prune.

Calculate how much of the root ball—the cluster of roots at the base of your tree—you intend to prune. As a general rule of thumb, the root ball should be about 1 foot in diameter for every inch of trunk thickness. So, if the trunk is 2 inches thick, aim to prune the root ball to be 2 feet in diameter. Prune in a circle about 2 feet out from the tree’s main stem.

Note: If your tree’s trunk spans more than 2 or 3 inches in diameter, its root ball will be too heavy and fragile for a do-it-yourself landscaping job. Instead, call a professional to see about having this larger tree transplanted.

This chart from PennState Extension shows approximate changes in root ball size based on the tree’s size. Those considering moving a tree will especially want to consider the approximate weight of the plant and soil.

STEP 3: Dig a trench around the root ball.

Cut a narrow trench (about 2 feet deep and about 1 foot wide) around the root ball with a flat spade. Place the spade straight up, perpendicular to the ground, and step on it to force the sharp point through the root. Larger, more mature trees might need a deeper trench dug by professional arborists or landscapers.

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Those digging their own trenches should make sure not to dig near any underground utility lines during the course of the project.

STEP 4: Replace the soil around the pruned roots.

Refill the trench with the dug-up soil, carefully placing the subsoil (that from deeper within the trench) underneath the topsoil. Add a 2- to 3-inch layer of mulch on top of the soil above the root ball to help retain moisture and prevent cold damage if the tree will not move until after winter.

When you return months later for the tree’s move, you should find new feeder roots growing closer to the tree trunk when you remove the soil again. The feeder roots are creating a strong root system.

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Then, Transplant the Tree

After pruning the roots, give the tree several months to establish a new root system. Ensure the tree looks healthy before removing it from the ground. A sick or damaged plant likely won’t survive relocation. If the tree isn’t thriving (whether from disease or environmental issues), you might need to hold off another season until it becomes healthy again.

Once the tree appears ready to transplant and the timing is right, choose and prep the new site, water the tree, and dig around and under the root ball. Once the tree is ready for its new home, follow recommendations for planting an established tree from a trusted source.

STEP 5: Choose a suitable new site.

Choose a new location carefully. Make sure the new spot has sufficient space for the tree to grow, as well as proper soil, light, and water conditions. Think about the tree’s mature size in terms of canopy growth up high and root growth below the ground.

Every type of tree has different requirements, so take the time to do your research. After all, poor conditions might be the reason the tree needed a new home in the first place.

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STEP 6: Water the tree before transplanting.

If planning to move a tree in fall, water as needed during summer dry spells to keep the roots healthy. Tree roots cut in fall for a spring move might need some water during especially dry winters.

Then, water the tree’s soil one day before transplanting. Moist soil is easier to dig and helps keep the root ball cohesive. Make sure that soil receives moisture around the entire circle of the trench.

STEP 7: Dig a hole in the new location.

In the new location, dig a hole that’s about three times as wide, yet the same depth, as the root ball to give the lateral roots room to spread out. Don’t dig the hole too deeply, or the roots might rot.

Take care to save the dug-up soil, separating the topsoil from the subsoil. Water the hole well to infuse some extra moisture into the soil, which will help hold the root ball together.

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STEP 8: Dig around the tree.

Using a shovel, remove the topsoil near the trunk and roots of the tree. Then start digging around the tree with a sharp, flat spade about 6 inches further out than the pruned roots. Digging several inches past the trench ensures that you include most (if not all) of the new feeder roots that will help the tree adjust to its new location.

Dig at least 1 or 2 feet down to be sure the shovel can get under the root ball. If you come across any older, stubborn roots in the trench path that were missed months ago, cut them with pruning shears or—in the case of larger roots—loppers.

STEP 9: Dig under the root ball.

After digging all the way around the circumference of the tree, start to dig under the tree to sever the roots beneath. Remember to leave the diameter of the root ball intact. If a tree trunk is 2 inches in diameter, then dig a little more than 2 feet down in order to get the full root ball.

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Gently rocking the root ball within the hole can help determine whether any roots undetected before remain attached. Carefully remove loose soil from around the root ball.

STEP 10: Use burlap to lift out the tree.

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Once the tree is completely free of the ground in the hole, place a sheet of natural burlap in the hole and coax the tree roots over it. Heavier root balls might need to be gently rolled out of the hole and onto the burlap. Be sure the burlap will cover the entire root ball.

Lift the tree from the ground with the burlap (never by the trunk) to prevent breakage. Having another person on hand to help contain the tree roots in the burlap and lift the tree from the ground will help immensely.

STEP 11: Move the tree to the new location.

Secure the burlap together with twine to keep the soil together, and carry the tree to its new position. If it’s too heavy to carry, place the burlap-covered root ball on a tarp to drag it to the new location without damaging roots and losing soil. You can lift the burlap onto cardboard or a sturdy cart if easier.

STEP 12: Place the tree in the new hole.

Set the tree into the fresh hole, making sure that the base of the trunk is level with the ground. Often, the tree crown and trunk area shows a color change to indicate the soil level in its previous location. Assuming the tree was healthy and not planted too deep or high, this might be a helpful guide.

Add any soil necessary to achieve the proper height. Once the tree is set in the hole, remove the burlap and twine.

STEP 13: Fill in the soil.

Fill the ground around the tree with soil from the dug hole, making sure to place the subsoil in the bottom of the hole and the topsoil on top. Tamp the soil down gently as you go. Water thoroughly, all the way out to the edge of the hole site.

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Then add 2 to 3 inches of mulch around the base of the tree, being careful not to push it up onto the trunk. The mulch helps to promote adequate moisture levels and temperature as the tree becomes used to its new home..

Maintaining a Transplanted Tree

The care you give a tree after transplanting is extremely important. If the tree is smaller, planted on flat terrain, and not exposed to a lot of wind, you shouldn’t need to stake it. The roots will actually grow deeper and stronger if you don’t. But consider staking unsteady or larger trees.

After transplanting, ensure the tree gets enough water in relation to the climate, soil type, and rainfall levels. Generally, home gardeners should plan to water the tree deeply and regularly in the first few weeks. Apply water slowly with a drip system or low-flow emitter to ensure the water trickles down to the feeder roots.

Transplanted trees typically need more water than normal in the first year of recovery from the move. Avoid overwatering to the point of soggy soil. Refrain from fertilizing the tree for at least one year; you want the tree to concentrate its energy on rebuilding a root system instead of producing new growth.

Be patient as the tree recovers; it will not produce much growth in its first season in the new home. But with some planning and thoughtful care, you’ll be able to enjoy your transplanted tree in its new location for many years to come.

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FAQ About Tree Transplanting

Transplanting a tree requires some planning and a little knowledge. Here are answers to some common questions about moving trees.

Can you uproot a tree and replant it?

You can uproot trees that are fairly healthy and not too large (no more than 2 or 3 inches in diameter at the main stem). However, transplanting can shock a tree and plenty can go wrong if you rush the process or skip steps to carefully prune and replant the tree.

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It helps to call in a pro to move a large tree or one in poor health. In fact, uprooting and replanting a failing tree might bring it new life.

How do you move a tree without killing it?

Prep the roots way ahead of the move to ensure they stay healthy and ready to reestablish in the new location. Use natural burlap and twine to hold the root ball together and protect it during the move. Then place something under the burlapped ball to drag, roll, or carry the plant to its new location. Enlist the help of a friend, rented equipment, or a pro if necessary to ensure the tree has a safe journey.

What time of year is best to transplant trees?

Time of year depends on the tree type. Most trees fare best when moved in late fall or early spring, while they are dormant. Evergreen trees usually do best with a spring transplant, which gives them time to grow new roots through summer. Avoid transplanting less than about 6 weeks before upcoming stressful weather, such as peak summer heat or winter freeze. If unsure, check with local extension offices or tree care companies for timing specific to your area and the tree type.

How do you prepare a tree for transplanting?

Follow the steps above for properly pruning tree roots, letting them rest several months, and then carefully removing the root ball. Be sure to protect the roots through their waiting period and ensure they receive adequate water during their rest and just before transplanting.

Final Thoughts

Transplanting a tree can bring it new life, but can stress the tree. With a little patience and time, however, you can help a tree through the transition by taking care to complete all steps before, during, and after transplanting.

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About the timing of transplanting fruit trees on the site

About the timing of transplanting fruit trees

It is practically possible to replant fruit trees throughout the year, but still less labor and cost will be incurred when replanting during the dormant period of plants - in early spring, before the start of growth, in autumn, during the period of mass leaf fall, and in winter when the air temperature is not lower than -5 -6 0 . In the conditions of central Russia, early spring is considered the best time for transplanting fruit trees.

Age of trees to be transplanted

It is more expedient to replant fruit trees at the age not older than 20-25 years, but here some varietal characteristics of plants are taken into account.

Trees of early-bearing varieties are generally considered less durable and should be replanted no older than this age. Long-lived varieties are another matter, the transplantation of which is permissible even at an older age.

In both cases, it is important that the trees to be transplanted be healthy, develop normally, and show no damage to the trunk or branches. Of course, hollow trees are unsuitable for transplantation.

Transplant with soil ball

Fruit and ornamental trees are transplanted in different ways: a) with a soil clod, b) without a clod (with exposed roots), c) with preliminary preparation of trees for transplantation.

The most common transplant with a soil clod.

With modern technology, digging and transporting trees with a fairly heavy clod of soil is not particularly difficult. It is not difficult to transplant in the conditions of backyard and collective gardens using the simplest improvised devices.

The size of the clod of transplanted trees is determined depending on their age: for 7-10-year-olds, the clod diameter is 1. 0-1.25 m, for 10-15-year-olds - 1.3-1.5 m, for 20-30- summer -1.7-2.0 m.

Taking into account the depth of the greatest distribution of active roots of the apple tree, the height of the coma is set at 60-70 cm.

The shape of the soil ball can be in the form of a cylinder or a cube. Depending on this, the tree is dug in a circular or square-shaped ditch 40-50 cm wide.

Roots encountered during digging are cut with a garden knife to a level with the wall of the coma. Thick roots are chopped off with a shovel, an ax, cut down with a hacksaw, but after that the ends of the roots are cleaned with a knife to form a smooth, better healing wound surface.

For ease of use, when cutting a lump from below and pulling it out of the pit, one of the walls of the ditch is made inclined.

For long-distance transportation and transplants from loose crumbling soils, the soil clod is sheathed with matting, wire mesh, and preferably with boards. A round ball is lined with boards vertically and pulled together with strong wire, and a lump in the shape of a cube, somewhat tapering downwards, is sheathed from the sides and from the bottom with boards in a horizontal direction and fastened with bolts. Pre-cut shields are convenient for sheathing according to the size of the sides and bottom of the coma. In this case, it turns out, as it were, a collapsible box. So, for example, the workers of the Michurinsky Garden do it at the Exhibition of Achievements of the National Economy of Russia.

From the bottom of the ball, together with vertical roots, it is not difficult to cut with a strong wire, thrown in a loop around the bottom of the ball and attached to the tractor at both ends. When the tractor moves forward, the wire cuts off the soil under the bottom of the clod, simultaneously cutting off the roots.

To extract the prepared clod from the pit, an iron leaf-drag is used, on which a tree with a clod is pulled up and installed. They pull it out along the inclined wall of the pit with a tractor. To lift a tree with a lump, cranes, winches, etc. are also used.

When transplanting mature trees in household plots and in collective gardens, the simplest devices are used: they dig a soil ball with shovels, cutting off the roots with an ax, lift it out of the pit using rollers, logs, tripods, and for movement - with iron sheets-scrapers.

Transportation of fruit trees

Before loading onto vehicles for long-distance transportation, tree branches are tied up, and the entire crown and stem are wrapped with matting. The trees in the back of the car are placed in an inclined position and always in a lump to the driver's cab. If the branches lie on the sides of the machine, lay mats or tarpaulins to prevent damage to the branches when rubbing against the sides.

When transporting over short distances, trees can be installed vertically, securing the lump with strong ropes, wire, to prevent the tree from moving along the bottom of the car body.

Arriving at the planting site, the trees are carefully removed by a crane or lowered along boards, logs into a pit prepared in advance for planting.

Planting fruit trees

Pits for planting are prepared in depth and width slightly larger than the size of the tree ball, so that after planting the space between the walls of the pit and the ball is filled with good nutritious soil.

The tree should be planted at the same depth as it grew in the same place (take into account the possibility of the clod settling after planting). It is recommended to keep its previous position in relation to the cardinal points. It is not difficult to achieve this: even before digging up a tree, you need to make a mark on one side of the stem with chalk, paint or tie a piece of cloth, twine on some branch. Such marks will allow you to correctly install the tree in the pit.

The space between the clod and the walls of the pit is covered with nutrient soil, compacted and, after completing the work, watered well.

Although a sufficiently heavy soil ball gives a stable position to the tree after planting, additional reinforcement with strong guy wires is still required.

Post landing care

Despite the fact that the tree was transplanted without leaves, water continues to evaporate through the pores of the trunk and branches, and its supply from the soil is greatly reduced due to the significant loss of roots during digging. This can lead to drying of the aerial part, poor survival, and possibly death of the plant.

Given this, after transplantation, and more conveniently even before it, the skeletal branches are shortened by about ⅓ of their length or the crown is significantly thinned out by removing some branches. It is better to cut 2-3 large branches than many small ones.

Wounds, as usual after pruning, are coated with garden pitch (petrolatum).

The trunk and the lower parts of the skeletal branches are tied with moss, matting, burlap, straw bundles to prevent excessive evaporation of water. During the summer, the soil under the crown of the tree is systematically watered, the strapping is periodically moistened (sprayed). It is useful after transplanting to sprinkle all the branches in the crown of the tree with lime mortar. It is also important to monitor the possible appearance of pests, especially leaf-eating and aphids, and take measures to combat them. Flowers formed in the first year should not be left, they are cut off.

Transplant with pretreatment

This case is better than the previous one, although it takes a little longer. It consists in the following. As in the first case, in the spring a circular or square ditch is dug around the tree, filled with well-fertilized loose soil, watered and left in this state until the next spring.

At the ends, trimmed and cleaned with a knife, when digging the roots, new fibrous roots form, which grow well in the fertilized soil of the ditch.

The tree is dug up next spring. The ditch is now being dug a little further than last year, so as not to damage the new roots formed during the summer. Such a tree tolerates a transplant less painfully and rather takes root in a new place.

This is the method of replanting trees with their preliminary preparation, the rest of the work is the same as described above.

The tree can be transplanted without a clod

In this case, leave longer (up to 1-1. 5 m depending on the age of the tree) roots than when digging with a soil ball, and be sure to protect them from drying. Stepping back from the trunk to a distance of the length of the roots, they dig a circular ditch 1 m deep. Then carefully remove the soil layer from above the coma to the first roots. With a pointed stake or washing with water, the roots are gradually freed from the ground, pouring it into a ditch. As the ditch fills, the earth is thrown away. It is necessary to monitor the safety of the roots, not allowing them to be cut off under the weight of earthen clods.

As the roots are exposed, they cover with damp moss, moistened with burlap, grass. At the end of the excavation, the tree begins to lose stability in the hole and needs to be temporarily secured with guy wires. This is especially necessary when cutting the lower roots.

In the case of long-distance transportation, the roots are tied, like the branches in the crown, and packed. The conditions of transportation, planting in a new place and primary care do not differ from those described above when transplanting trees with a lump.

As can be seen from what has been said, transplanting mature trees with exposed roots is more convenient, easier when lifting a tree from a hole, loading and unloading it, but freeing the roots from the ground requires more time, attention and caution.

Is it possible to transplant a tree in winter?

It is possible, at a temperature not lower than minus 6 0 . At this time, the movement of trees along the toboggan path facilitates the work, and there is no need to cover the clod with boards.

Trees are ditched in late autumn. In order not to lower the strong freezing of the coma, and, consequently, the roots, the ditch must be covered with peat and manure. At the new location, a landing pit is being prepared at the same time.

After the coma has frozen (around mid-December), the tree is removed from the pit and transported. Some difficulty lies in finding thawed earth to backfill the ditch after planting. The near-stem circle insulates with a layer of manure, peat, and is well spudded with snow.

Will there be a harvest in the orchard?

Snow covered garden. The roots of fruit trees are securely covered with a snow blanket, and the branches of berry bushes and branches are almost covered to the top. Strawberries under the snow feel good.

Spring is not yet soon, and the gardener, of course, already wants to know how the trees overwintered, whether the branches and especially the flower buds have frozen, can we hope that there will be a harvest? After all, for the winter, more than once, trees were “grabbed” by frost, there were also strong ones that were dangerous for trees.

It is necessary to know the possibility of freezing of fruit plants not just for the sake of curiosity, but in order to prepare for spring care of frozen trees in case of danger signals. But how to do it?

As soon as severe frosts pass, cut off a few shoots and branches with flower buds with secateurs, dip in a bowl of water and hold in a heated room for 2-3 days. The layer of water in the dish should not exceed 5-6 cm.

After removing the branch from the water, cut it crosswise with a garden knife and carefully inspect the cut surface. Intact parts of the branch are light. If the core turns brown, it is frostbitten, blackened, severely frozen. By the same criteria, the freezing of wood cells is determined. If the core and wood are slightly frozen, this does not mean the complete death of the branch, and there is hope that subsequently they will gradually recover due to the formation of new wood cells by the cambium. When the circular ring of the cambium is severely damaged (blackened) by frost, this is already the death of the branch.

A week or two will pass, and life awakens in the buds: they swell, open their outer clothing, from under which the greenery of future flowers and leaves is visible. So the flowers have blossomed with pale pink fragrant petals, now they can be examined (preferably through a magnifying glass). It happens that all parts of the flower are fresh, green, and the pistil itself is green, and its top (stigma) is blackened, indicating death from frost. It is necessary to check the integrity of the branches again after wintering.

Cambium - the most frost-resistant and damaged at a lower temperature than the core and wood.

Freezing of one-year-old shoots of an apple tree can still be established in the following way, proposed at the time by prof. MM. Okuntsev (Tomsk). Cut 1-2 cuttings from a one-year growth and place them in a washed test tube or a small jar filled with clean, unboiled water. Before dipping, wipe the cuttings with a damp cloth. In a heated room on the 2-3rd day, the result will be visible: if the water in the dishes becomes yellowish or of other shades, then the wood is not viable. With more severe frosting, the water is darker. If the water stays clean, the wood is healthy.

At the same time, make sure the flower buds are intact, because they contain the current year's harvest. With a razor blade, carefully cut along (from top to bottom) exactly in half such a kidney. A healthy kidney on a cut is light green. Inside it, the primordia of the pistil and stamens are visible crowding one to the other, covered from the outside with petals and integumentary scales. If there is blackness in the middle of the kidney, this is the result of freezing.

Especially dangerous is the blackening of the vascular bundles at the base of the fruit bud.

The pistil is the most frost-sensitive part of the flower; being in a bud that has not yet blossomed, it often freezes slightly. In this case, the hearth tree will bloom in spring, covered with white foam of fragrant flowers, and there will be no harvest.

The experiment with branches and buds can be continued by leaving them in the water until they bloom. Only in this case, it is necessary to cut the lower ends of the branches obliquely and slightly renew the sections when replacing the water in 2-3 days.

Cherry blossoms but no harvest

This happens sometimes, and gardeners often ask: "Why?" The reason for this is winter, freezing of flower buds.

A gardener sees in the spring: "Cherry orchards stand like drenched in milk." But this is only external well-being, apparent. Take the trouble to come closer to the cherry tree, close to its flowers, look at them carefully, and better armed with a magnifying glass. In the edging of pale pink fragrant petals, beckoning to the flower of furry workers - bees, pale green stamens with anthers peep out, among them a pistil. An external cursory examination of the flower does not seem to say anything, but take a closer look and see that the upper part of the pistil (stigma) is blackened. This means that the most important part of the pistil has died, there can be no pollination and fertilization of the ovary. Therefore, there will be no harvest.

Flower buds, as we know, are less frost-resistant than growth buds, and the most frost-sensitive part of the flower is the pistil. It does not tolerate high low winter temperatures and often freezes in an unopened flower bud.

If the pestle is not frozen, but there is still no crop, then the reason is different. Perhaps there is no pollinator for this variety - another variety that blooms at the same time. This, however, is very rare, since the total area of ​​the collective garden always has a large set of various varieties, and the bees carry out pollination work within a radius of 2-2.5 km. Other insects do the same.

Of course, the reliability of pollination largely depends on weather conditions: cold, rain, wind limit the flight of insects, and the process of pollen germination on the stigma of the pistil is associated with temperature and other conditions of the day.

In some areas, for example, in the gardens of the Moscow region, cherries rarely please the gardener with their fruits. This means that one should not get carried away with advertised varieties that have not been tested for resistance in local conditions, but should be planted recommended, the so-called zoned ones. These varieties must be provided with appropriate care, not pampering the plants, preparing them for a successful overwintering.

Spring frosts are coming

Gardeners are aware of the damage to the economy caused by spring frost if it occurs during the flowering period and the first days of growth of fruit and berry ovaries. Frosts are dangerous because there are no effective guaranteed measures to combat them yet, and possible ones are very difficult.

Based on long-term meteorological observations, it has been established that in the conditions of central Russia, the latest frost period can be considered June 6-10.

There are two types of frosts. Local ones that spread in certain areas (matinees) are usually short-lived, although they can be repeated after a few days. Such frosts are called radiation. But a decrease in temperature can occur as a result of the invasion of cold air masses from the north (advective frosts). Protecting the garden from such cold weather is very difficult, as they capture a large area, are accompanied by strong cold winds and can last for several days. Radiation frosts are more common.

Buds of most fruit and berry plants are damaged by frosts at minus 40, opened flowers at minus 20, and young fruit ovaries are even more sensitive and damaged even at minus 1-1.50.

The effect of freezing largely depends on the location of the orchard

The relief of the garden area is of great importance. In low places and especially in closed basins, in impenetrable clearings during frost, the temperature is always several degrees lower than in elevated places and on slopes, so the risk of frost damage is greater there. Cold heavy air in open places, not encountering vegetation and other barriers, flows down from elevated areas to lower ones and accumulates here.

There are rare cases of damage to gardens by spring matinees near large reservoirs, in floodplains of rivers.

The degree of frost damage depends on the nature of the soil, its cover. A moistened and compacted soil surface cools less than a loose and dry one. A surface covered with vegetation cools more than a surface free from it.

From all that has been said, it follows that the choice of a place for laying an orchard is of particular importance not only in relation to creating favorable conditions for the growth of fruit and berry plants, but also, in particular, to prevent possible damage to the garden by frosts in harvest years.

Local signs of freezing

It is very important to determine in advance the likelihood of frosts and prepare in time to protect the blooming garden.

On the central radio and television, on the local radio broadcasting and broadcasting network in the programs of the Hydrometeorological Center, agricultural workers are warned about the possible onset of frost.

The transmitted weather forecasts and warnings about the possible onset of frost relate to a fairly large area - an area, less often a district, therefore, for local conditions, some deviations in the forecasts are possible and inevitable.

There are local signs of frost approaching: after a hot day, suddenly by 19-20 hours the air temperature drops sharply, and the mercury of the thermometer continues to fall just as sharply at night; the air is quiet, windless; the sky is completely cloudless; the air is dry, there is no dew on plants and soil.

If the signs of the weather in the evening are opposite to those listed above (cloudy sky, windy, dew, etc.), this indicates that there is no possibility of frost.

Thermometers are hung on the branches of trees, and preferably on stakes at eye level. In large horticultural farms, thermometers are installed in several areas of different relief: in a lowland, in elevated places. Usually, thermometers installed in lower areas are the first to signal the threat of frost.

The following thermometer readings serve as a signal to start work on protecting the garden from frost: if, with a sharp night drop, by midnight or a little later, the air temperature has dropped to +2 0 and continues to decline, this is a signal to start work on protecting the garden.

The simplest device for determining the possibility of freezing

Two outdoor thermometers are required for this. In one of them, a mercury or alcohol ball is wrapped with a piece of gauze, the end of which is dipped into a glass of water. Gauze wets the bulb of the thermometer, and its readings will be different compared to a dry thermometer. The difference in the readings of both thermometers determines the possibility of the onset or absence of frost.

EASY TREE TRANSFER | Nauka i Zhizn

I have subscribed to the magazine "Science and Life" for more than 30 years. In response to your request to send interesting materials, I send my article "An easy way to transplant trees."

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My own experience served as the basis for writing it. Planting wild trees and shrubs near roads, plots or on the plots themselves is not yet very popular in Russia. In Western Europe and America, large and small cities are buried in greenery, and there are more evergreen trees than deciduous ones. The published literature contains almost no information on the transplantation of wild plants. Over the past 10 years, I have planted more than 500 fruit and wild trees and shrubs, all, with rare exceptions, have begun. Fruit planted on the site. Wild (of which 50% are evergreen, mostly coniferous up to 3 m or more) both on the site (near the house, shed, shed, paths, fences) and on the street (on the outside of the fence or across the road). Of course, without prejudice to the sunlight of vegetable and berry crops.

Our plot is located near Volokolamsk, in the collective garden partnership "Rainbow" of the Moscow Agricultural Academy. K. A. Timiryazev. I myself am an engineer, for 38 years I worked in the department of metrology of the Radio Engineering Institute of the Academy of Sciences, for the last 10 years as a chief metrologist. When planting trees, he first consulted with his neighbors - teachers and researchers of the academy. An engineer by profession, I could not help but show interest in the tree as a cybernetic device, knowledge about which, unfortunately, today is mainly limited to empirical experience. My point of view was fully supported by TSCA Associate Professor A. D. Koshansky.

V. Merkulov (Moscow).

It is known that the movement of nutrients - salt solutions - from the soil into the tree occurs due to osmotic pressure (pressure in plant cells, depending on the concentration of salts). Inside the tree, the concentration of salts is higher than in the soil. In accordance with the laws of chemistry, the movement of a liquid solution always occurs in the direction of a solution with a higher concentration, that is, from the roots to the top.

When a tree is transplanted from one place to another, the plant is dug out of the ground, transported and planted in a new place.

Digging inevitably loses some soil and roots. A stressed tree quickly consumes the accumulated nutrients, and the osmotic pressure inside it drops. The situation is aggravated by transportation, especially a long one. If by the time of planting in a new place the concentration of salts in the tree is less than the concentration of salts in the soil, it will not take root and will dry out.

It turns out that for a successful transplant, it is necessary to dig up a tree with a large clod of earth and less loss of roots. Transportation to a new location should be quick and, if possible, keeping the clod and roots moist, which is why it is recommended to place the seedling in a damp cloth, preferably cotton, such as burlap, so that the roots breathe.

When transplanting, it is desirable that the living conditions in the new place do not differ from the previous ones. For planting a tree, a hole is enough, equal in volume to a coma of earth. To preserve the acidity of the soil and create better conditions for osmotic pressure inside the tree, I do not put fertilizer, manure, leaves, grass, sawdust in the pit. Planting fertilizers, in particular chemical ones, can burn the tips of the roots damaged during digging, and leaves, grass, sawdust can destroy the tree with organic acids, because with a lack of oxygen in the pit, it will take years to decompose. For the same reason, it is undesirable to dig a wooden stake near a tree as a support; it is better to use a neutral plastic pole, and even better a metal one.

In the event that the soil at the planting site is less loose, for better breathing for the roots, I make a hole of a larger diameter, and I fill the space between the clod of earth and its edges with earth mixed with sand (approximately 40%). It is also necessary to mix the earth with sand when planting seedlings with bare roots. When transplanting fruit trees, I pour lime at the bottom of the pit and mix it with the ground at the rate of 70-100 g per 1 sq. m.

After planting, the tree first of all needs water in abundance, but without excess: one bucket at the time of planting and on average one bucket every 3 days for 1-1.5 months.

According to my observations, a tree or a shrub is easier to accept when it is transplanted from nutrient-rich soil to less-saturated soil, given the same qualities. And it is much worse for a seedling when transplanted from soil poor in nutrients to rich.

Such a simple method of replanting trees and shrubs, primarily wild ones, up to 3 m high and more does not require much time and effort. In one hour, you can plant 5-6 or more trees, and at any time of the year, even in winter, but it is better in early spring, immediately after the snow melts. It is possible in the summer - preferably small trees with a large clod of earth. In autumn, plantings, however, take root worse, and so that they do not die, you have to regularly water them until frost. One of the necessary conditions for survival at any time of the year: the clod of earth of a tree should be as large as possible, such that it can be lifted, moved and transported.

In a new place, wild trees and shrubs take root quickly and require almost no maintenance. For better growth, I fertilize them, but not earlier than a year after planting, most often with water-soluble mineral fertilizers (20-30 g per 1 sq.


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