Autumn and spring are the best times to transplant evergreen fruit trees, such as citrus. The mild conditions allow their severed roots to make a speedy recovery before it gets too cold or hot. The best time to shift deciduous fruit trees like pome and stone fruit is winter. This is when they are in their dormant state, so they are more able to cope with the trauma of having their roots chopped.
Before digging out a fruit tree, it's important to water it well and have the new hole prepared in advance. It's worth removing at least one third of the foliage to compensate for loss of roots. It's also important to protect the rootball in transit and there are a few tricks to doing that. Once in place, careful nuturing will ensure a successful transplant.
The latest issue of Organic Gardener has lots more comprehensive detail on how to prepare your tree and settle in to it's new home.
First published: April 2011