I am in southern california. I asked my gardner to transplant 6 yrs 15
feet high purple leaf pulm tree. He did it but I am not sure he knew
what he was doing.
I argued that the tree needs deep pruning before or after
transplanting and he said that it should not be touched.
Should I prune it? Now? (Still in full dorment)
Is there anything I can do to improve the chances of the transplant?
There are several things that can be done to help a transplanted tree
Root prune at least once and as many as 3 times if you can. Root pruning
involves digging a trench around the tree to at least a depth of 24" and as
much as 60" out to 1/3 the distance from the trunk to the drip line. This
trench is then back filled with good loose soil. This process will encourage
new root growth. A root pruning takes 30 to 60 days to have any effect. So
if you root prune 3 times you are talking a minimum of 90 days to a maximum
of 180 days prior to moving the tree.
Pull and strip as much of the leaves as possible to give the roots a chance
to work. And hard prune the small and medium branches.
Setup an overhead mist system on the tree. This is as simple as running
several lengths of 1/2" irrigation pipe up into the crown of the tree and
putting a 360 degree mist head at the top. Run this mist head 30 minutes in
the early morning and 30 minutes in the late afternoon for 30 days. (We call
this the 30-30-30 system.)
Put a bubbler at the base of the tree to send water to the roots. Same
30-30-30 as above.
No fertilizer for 30 days. You don't want to burn the new roots.
Sacrifice a white chicken. Not sure why this works or where to find the
chicken, but when all else fails....
Thanks for your quick reply. My problem is the transfer is done and at
this point the tree is still dorment, no leavs no flowers. So my
question, should I prune the tree now? I heard that becuase of the
much smaller root base for the tree because of the transfer, we should
make the branches area smaller too so that they can be supported?
I've read both arguments on the topic of pruning transplants - prune 'em
hard and prune 'em light. I can only go from experience. Both arguments have
scientific validity but then so does the silly "Big Bang Theory". I've
transplanted trees as tall as 25' and have had the best results with a hard
top pruning, especially with a small root ball.
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