Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Midwinter Gardening. Moving a Plum Tree. 1.7.14

Methley  Plum.  Digging it up.
 This is a 4 year old Methley plum.  I bought it bare root via Raintree Nursery approx Feb 2010.   I think.  I pruned it short, anticipating Backyard Orchard Culture method with low branching, bush-like.  Last year I moved it to a different location in the yard.  I pruned back  little to encourage more low bushiness.  I had it next to Shiro plum and near Hollywood plum, to pollinate those.  They bore fine last year even though Methley did not bloom.  There is not much room in this location.  So I moved it to the Battleground home orchard, where there is more room and where, possibly, it will pollenize a mature unknown Japanese plum, Toka and Satsuma.  And vice versa.

I thought it would be difficult to dig.  It was easy.  The move last year resulted in compact root system, not wide ranging.  There was almost no root damage.  The roots were about one shovel blade deep.

This was my usual method.  Slice vertically in circle around tree.  Scoop out a moat around tree, digging outside that sliced circle.  Then slice under tree with shovel.  No prying until I've fully sliced under the tree.  It's easy this way, and not traumatic to the tree.

Transferred to a tarp.
As much as possible I handle via the root ball, not the trunk.  It helps to have a tarp to slide the root ball onto.  In this case, the tarp is a big dog food bag made from woven plastic.  Slick, durable, easy to use.   Perfect size for this project.

Those dog food bags have many uses in the garden.  I never throw them away.

Then pick up using the tarp, not pulling on the trunk.  Use wheelbarrow to move it to the truck.  Then transfer into truck bed.

It's an overcast, wet day.  Ground was soft.  Not raining hard.  Perfect for moving a tree.







Drove it to Battleground.  On left is Helleborus.
Now it's in the truck at Battleground.  I also dug up a Hellebore that was in a hidden location, and moved it to Battleground.  I didn't plant it.  Too tired after planting the tree.















Almost in place.  Hole is dug.  I had a small jujube tree in this location.  It's now moved to the bee garden near the other jujube.  Those have been disappointing so far.  Not much growth, still tiny.  This is a good spot, close to the other plum trees.  Before planting, I mixed a cup of lime with the back fill soil.  I also added mycorrhizal inoculant.  I don't think I will buy more of that.  Probably not needed.  But I have some left over so might as well use it.




Covered with bird netting to deter deer.
Planted.  Watered in with 2 buckets of water, to settle the soil.   May not be needed.  Started to rain.

I don't have fencing to protect from deer, so I covered with bird netting.  I sunk the posts into place a few weeks ago, anticipating this move.

Forgot to wrap the trunk to protect from chewing rodents.  Other plum tree is not chewed, so it should be OK for the next day.  I hope.

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