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Transplanting an apple tree

Question

Asked by: Arran  23-Sep-2019

Hi, Just looking for some advice. I received a tree a couple years ago in November of 2017, I was on at the time for advice as I was living in a flat with a concrete yard, I was advised to purchase a sunset apple tree, M26 root stock and bush trained. As I was in a flat I was told to put the tree in at least 100L container. I built my own and it must be about 200L. I have since moved house and remembered not to transplant the tree till it is dormant. Is that the case? From memory it was October/November to transplant, the tree isnt looking the healthiest as its been in the same pot for 2 years now and will have used all nutrients. How deep/wide should i make the hole to put it in, how far away from other bushes/trees should it ideally be planted? Thanks for your help.

Answer

The best time to transplant the tree is when it is fully dormant and has lost all of its leaves - for apples this is usually around December time. An apple on the M26 rootstock is likely to get to a mature height of 2.5-3m so I would allow for a spread of 3m or so. Before you start, dig over about a square metre of the planting area, to loosen the soil. The hole for the tree needs to be about twice the size of the rootball when you dig it out of the planter. It only needs to be deep enough for the roots to be under the soil - the graft union should be well above soil level.