When Is a Good Time to Transplant a Fruit Tree?

Fruit trees are easy to transplant and they usually survive the process, as long as you move them at the right time and under the right conditions. In addition to the obvious benefit of producing fruit, these trees can add unique color and texture to your home landscape.

Time Frame

The best time to transplant fruit trees is while they are dormant: some time after the leaves have fallen and before new buds grow. In southern climates, you can transplant trees during the winter months, but in areas where the ground freezes, it is better to transplant in late fall or early spring. Stone fruits, such as peaches and plums, should only be transplanted in spring.

Transplanting

Transplant when the soil is moist and keep as much soil around the roots as you can. Replant in a hole that is twice as wide as the root ball but no deeper. Refill with loose soil, water thoroughly, but do not fertilize immediately because this can damage the roots.

Tips

Transplant fruit trees when they are small: ideally 4 to 6 feet tall. Trees this size are easier to handle and more likely to survive. Larger trees -- those with trunks greater than 3 inches in diameter -- should be moved by a professional.