I picked up at the store yesterday a nice-sized ('bout 6 foot tall) Elberta
Peach tree for a measly $10. It looks healthy (otherwise, I wouldn't have
bought it) if a little overgrown for the 5gal pot it's in.
We're heading into the hottest month of the year here in California. And,
I know that transplanting in hot weather is usually a bad idea.
My question is this: Should I wait for it to go dormant before planting in
the ground? Or, should I just try to insulate the pot (standard black
plastic) from the high heat to help conserve moisture? Or put the tree,
pot and all into a hole in the ground and then do the bareroot planting
(We *have* had some major problems with gophers that I'm still trying to
figure out how to manage best.... And the occasional deer coming by for
* Can't see the Forest | Bryan B. *
Is it in a container, or is it bare root? You mention both. If it's
in a container, water it a hundred times in the container till the
whole root ball is entirely saturated. A really good thing to use as
your very last watering is a gallon or two of liquid seaweed, sold at
Lowes and Home Depot.
Dig the hole and make it two to three times the diameter of the
container and do not let it have smooth sides. Jag the sides with a
Gently remove the tree from the container. If you have to really tug,
turn the container on its side and press on the sides as you roll it
around and loosen it all up.
Place the tree in the hole making sure the root ball is no deeper in
the ground, than it is in the container. In other words, do not put
soil up to the bark any higher than it already is in the container.
There should be a natural root flare at the base of the tree. The
number one reason trees do not survive is they are planted too deeply.
Take into account for soil settling, so try not to place the tree on
soft soil in the hole. Roots grow outward on fruit trees, so the
bottom of the hole can be left and not softened. To give some
drainage to the area take a fork and make holes in the bottom of the
If your soil is very hard, dry, clumpy or too wet, do not dig the hole
you can hurt the soil structure. If it IS dry, give that area a
really good watering using a cheap yellow circle you can get at any
garden store for two dollars. Those are the best devices for watering
Do NOT amend the soil. Fill the soil around the root ball after
you've broken all clumps up and the top layer all around the tree top
dress with a good compost and on top of that, shredded tree mulch.
Remember, do not put soil, compost or mulch near to or above the line
where the root flare should be out of the hole.
Water it deeply again, at least till you get the soil saturated, then
check every few days for dry soil. Do NOT be tempted to over water.
None of this can be done with a bare root plant, or a balled and
burlap tree any time in high heat.
OR you can bury the pot and keep it watered till the dormant months
I don't care where you haul, however trees in containers have a
different rate of successful planting in high heat. Balled and
burlap trees, along with bare root trees cannot survive the shock of
transplanting in high heat of summer.
Black absorbs more heat from the sun than any other color. Use white.
If you can get the tree out of the tub without losing all the soil
around the roots, I'd recommend transplanting now. Water well.
If you wish, spray with Wilt-Pruf or similar product.
I transport semi truck loads of deciduous & evergreens to job sites. Most
retail nurseries will tell their consumers not to plant or even transport
during the hot season.
You will notice commercial, government, high end residential landscaping
does not stop because of heat.
I would get a product for root stimulation, such as MyCor Tree Saver. Use
Yes, and I notice many commercial plantings with lots of dead trees. These
people are either ignorant or probably feel they will not be around the
season when the trees die. Transplanting a tree is very stressful to the
and combining that with hot weather is not really a good idea.
Well Sherwin, I hate to burst your bubble, but there are many professional
landscapers that do over 50 million in business per year.
Trees must be taken care of, if some developer is involved, you can bet
they're not buying premium to begin with. Probably buying park grade, and
has some jack leg installation. I concur there are many of these people
around, but my dealings are with professional people.
I know professionals will disagree with your thoughts of planting in hot
weather, I guess that's why they're the professionals.
They may be professionals, but they have the owners breathing down their throats
get something planted so they can sell their condominium, factory, whatever.
may do a careful job planting, but they certainly are not planting them at an
time if they do it in the heat of mid-summer. They may get away with it,
depending on how the trees are cared for afterwards, and how sensitive the
variety is to being
out in the blazing sun. Homeowners are not under the same pressures as
who have to dress up their properties to sell them. Any professional who
planting in the hottest time of the year should have their license revoked.
The tree doesn't have to be dormant to transplant it, but it would not be
plant it until the hot weather passes. Late summer or early winter would work.
If you plant it with the pot now, find a cool and shady spot. You could also
in the pot and put it in a cool shed. Be sure to keep it moist as plants in
pots tend to
dry out quickly. Unless the plant looks like it is bursting from the pot,
keeping it a few more months in the pot should not hurt it. Be sure to free up
the roots when planting if they are tangled or compressed. My Elberta here in
the Midwest is about
15 years old and is a consistent producer and gives terrific peaches.
Wow. Who knew that questions of planting a fruit tree would generate such
Regardless, I thank y'all for your opinions.
Since I'm not a professional commercial landscaper, I will be waiting until
the tree goes dormant before planting. The tree does not seem to be
bursting out of its pot. I will just keep it from drying out until winter-
* Can't see the Forest | Bryan B. *
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.