Is it OK to move 3 years old apricot tree in different location?

I got an idea of space saving and organizing my small orchard, but it requires moving established young(and still small, under 6’) Stark’s dwarf apricot tree I planted in Fall 2013 to a different location.

Physically it is easily doable, but I am not sure if that will bring trouble to the tree that already not in the very best shape - it was very slow to start,but is growing well now. It also has some bark issues: One it came with
and another appeared after pruning.
Does it make sense to try, or should I just throw it away and buy a new one from a better source?

Personally I would move it, but I hate to waste. You need to move such trees only when they are dormant, and dig up as many roots as you can. It can also be a lot of work to dislodge the tree. I have done many such moves, 3-years are usually OK. I have given up on some 5+ year trees, after dig dig digging I just cut it down.

Thanks, Scott! So that would be my strategy - will try to dig it out late fall, and if it will not work, then just remove it. By the way, does apricot has a central root that goes deep down? How far from the tree should I start digging?

I start about a foot and a half away, but work gently so if you find a root you can “follow” it and save more. Sometimes they will have a really deep root, I cut those off after digging all around. Keep in mind how bare root trees from nurseries have been dug - they lose a lot of root but will re-establish.

@Alan is the expert at digging up bigger trees, maybe he can add a few tips.

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Thanks again! After replanting, do I have to prune it? It is now in the shape that is about I want it to be, I may prune some more during summer. Also, next spring, if it flowers, can I leave flowers or should remove them?

Have to depends on your climate and irrigation. It kind of depends on how much root you can save. You will probably be happier giving it a hard prune.

I am in North East, zone 5B. I can provide as much irrigation as needed - it is just 20’’ from the fucet. So generally I guess it will depend on the roots. My point is, if I need to prune it hard, and it will not produce for another year, I would better start with a new healthy apricot. So I want to try to move it without much of disturbance, and if it is not what happen - well, I will have to go with a new one.

I’ve moved bigger trees. Just do it late fall or very early spring. Once the leaves start to turn, your good to go. Just make sure to plant it at the same depth and give it a good soaking afterwards. You can prune it back if you would like or just leave it.

Thanks! I think I will prune it a bit more in summer month to keep the size down, and will leave as is in fall.

I moved 4 year old apricot last spring without any problems
I was once also moving a 3 year old cherry tree in August (I didn’t care too much about it and needed to free up some space). Of course the leaves folded down from the shock and heat but the tree made it. I have a well not far from the tree so I left the pump on until the ground around was all soaked up and repeated it for few more days. I doubt it would made it without me turning that area into a marsh for few days haha

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I bet it made the difference :slight_smile:

I found a new way to dig up trees and move them. Take a pressure washer with the smallest intense jet nozzle and repeatedly jet away the caked mud around the roots inserting the jet way down as you go. MAGIC !!!

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This would make a great youtube video.

Patrick I agree with Auburn, I would like to see this in action. I have 5 trees to move this fall.

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Great idea, Patrick! I may use it this fall. I will have to replant 2 decorative trees, three roses, two berry bushes, and one apricot tree :grinning: ! All this to plant 3 apple trees)