Sometimes you wish to take a plum tree with you when you move, or some other reason may necessitate its transplantation. Follow these suggestions for transplanting plum trees so they will succeed in their new environment.
Choose the Right Time of Year to Transplant
The best time of the year to transplant a plum tree or any fruit tree is in the early winter months when they are fully dormant. This minimizes the shock to the roots. The next best time is the late autumn, just as the foliage has fallen.
Pick a Suitable Site for Transplanting
Be sure to select a spot where the tree can be on its own without other garden plants, trees or shrubbery within 3 yards of its trunk. Plum trees send out a wide root mass to get moisture to support flowers and fruit, so help it by providing a good site for plum tree care, with little competition for water and food.
Prepare the Site to Receive the Transplanted Tree
Careful preparation of the location where you will transplant the plum tree will give it a greater chance of surviving and producing fruit again quickly. Dig a planting hole that is at least 3 times the size of the plum tree's root mass plus clinging garden soil. Make sure it is the same depth as the original planting site. Add mulch to the soil and water it slightly before depositing the plum tree in the new planting hole.
Dig Out and Prepare the Plum Tree for Transplant
When you dig out the plum tree, capture as much of its root mass as possible. Bring along plenty of the current soil to the new planting location. Transplant the tree by putting the plum tree's root ball into the new garden site, and watering it well. Put sufficient soil around the root mass to cover them. Compress the dirt carefully around the tree roots. Put an organic mulch around the plum tree's base to help hold in water and soak it once a day for two weeks, to promote speedy development of the fine root hairs that draw in water to the main root mass.
Promote Growth of the Tree's Foliage Crown
You can reduce the shock of transplanting your plum tree by leaving the foliage crown intact, so it can continue photosynthesis to produce food for the tree as a whole. It may take as many as five years for the root growth and the carbohydrate production of the tree to return to a state of balance. During this time, use a mulch of pine needles and bark to retain water in the soil, and to minimize grass growth near the tree. The grass will compete with the tree roots for moisture and organic growth enhancement.
To have the greatest success with a transplanted plum tree, do so while the tree is young. Its youth and strength will give it a much higher chance to survive the processes of uprooting, transportation, and acclimatizing to new soil, water, and sun conditions.