What's the risk of transplanting late?

Like I mentioned in my intro to the forum, my wife and I are starting a small, (mostly) new orchard on the former site of a very old orchard, now overgrown with young forest. We’re in Dutchess County NY. We’re planting some 3-4 year old trees (mostly from Alan, which is how I was introduced to this forum), some bareroot mail-order trees, and leaving some space for trees TBD.

The actual clearing of the area got started late, unfortunately - just this week. Now the trees are flowering. Our contractor wants to wait until fruit set to move the trees (currently in containers, which is how most were grown). That could be another two weeks (+/- a few days). Our thinking was that we should get them in the ground ASAP given that we’re past the ideal transplanting time already, but I don’t know if transplanting them while they’re flowering is inherently a “bad thing” that would suggest waiting.

What does the forum think? We’re not worried about this year’s yield - just optimizing the long-term health of the trees. Should we get the trees in the ground ASAP, wait until after fruit set, or not worry about it either way?

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If crop isn’t a concern plant asap. The tree isn’t going to be any stronger after flowering. The faster it can get roots moving into surrounding soil the better it will be for the tree.

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I would ask Alan! Since he is providing the trees. I too would plant them now, not later. I wouldnt allow them to crop the first year anyhow.

I would think worse case it aborts the fruit.

I agree with the others plant them as soon as you can in my opinion.

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After checking on things this evening it may prove to be a purely academic debate: based on the progress so far there are probably another 5-7 work days of felling, cutting, stump removal and clearing before the trees can go in. So at most we’ll be talking about 3-5 days difference between one approach or the other.

The lesson: I should have started planning in the fall so this would have been done in March. :slight_smile: Oh well, now I know for the next orchard!