Question from Mark:
I had emailed you once before and now have another question. I finally got the oppty to transplant a very young avacado tree, about 6 ft tall, out of a large clay pot into the ground. Unfortunately the root ball split into two and about 1/3 of it was “lost”… the tree did keep 2/3rds. Other than that we got it planted into the ground and fed it, watered it etc, do you think it will make it? Am a little worried…
Answer from Pat:
It’s always tricky to transplant a tree that has been confined in a pot too long. Too bad you didn’t ask me first how to do this. With a plant that has been in a pottery container for several years, the correct way to transplant it into the ground is to place the tree along with the pot into a pre-dug planting hole that is the same depth as the rootball and a few inches wider. Then break the pot with a hammer and with your gloved hand, remove the broken pottery shards piece by piece. If a few pieces stay on the bottom of the hole under the roots this does not matter. After this one can easily fill in the planting hole surrounding the plant without any damage to the roots. One can even loosen up the roots prior to refilling the hole to make sure they don’t wind around and around.
Due to the many variables in this case, I have no idea whether your tree will make it or not. However, I can suggest a two-step program that might pull it through. First, prune and cut back the top of the tree by about one third, in order to balance the top with the roots. Next go to a nursery that specializes in products used by organic gardeners. Look around for a product containing humic acid, such as John and Bob’s Soil Optimizer. Humic acid is without a doubt the best root stimulant for transplanting. (Vitamin B has been scientifically proven to do nothing, so don’t let anyone talk you into buying that. Also don’t buy some supposedly miracle product that does not list ingredients. These products, some of which come in tiny bottles, are a gyp—modern day snake oil, best described as “bottled hope flavored with belief.”)
If you can find pure humic acid that would be best. I know it is available by mail order, from Peaceful Valley Farm and Garden Supply and others, but then you would have to wait a while for it to arrive. Try to act quickly and drench the soil with diluted humic acid or with a product containing it, used according to package directions. Humic acid, plus the pruning mentioned above, might help the existing roots to proliferate enough to pull the tree through any shock it is doubtless undergoing.
No related articles.