Transplanting A Lemon Tree – Best Time To Transplant Lemon Trees

Pile Of Soil Surrounding Lemon Tree Base
lemon transplant
(Image credit: Sergey_Sizov)

If you have a lemon tree that has clearly outgrown its container, or you have one in the landscape that is now receiving too little sun due to mature vegetation, you need to transplant. That said, whether in a container or in the landscape, transplanting a lemon tree is a delicate task. First, you need to know when the right time of year is to transplant lemon trees and, even then, lemon tree transplanting is a tricky prospect. Keep reading to find out the right time is to transplant lemon trees, and other helpful information of lemon tree transplanting.

When to Transplant Lemon Trees

If either of the above mentioned situations applies to you, then you’re wondering “when should I transplant a lemon tree.” Owners of citrus trees know that they can be persnickety. They drop their leaves at the drop of a hat, they hate ‘wet feet,’ they get premature blossom or fruit drop, etc. So anyone who needs to transplant a lemon tree is no doubt going at it with some trepidation. Smaller potted lemon trees can be transplanted once a year. Be sure to choose a pot that has adequate drainage. Potted trees can also be transplanted into the garden with a little prior TLC. Mature lemon trees in the landscape will generally not fare well being transplanted. Either way, the time to transplant lemon trees is in the spring.

About Transplanting a Lemon Tree

First, prep the tree for transplanting. Prune the roots prior to transplanting the lemon to encourage new root growth in its new growing location. Dig a trench half the distance from the trunk to the drip line that is a foot (30 cm.) across and 4 feet (1.2 m.) deep. Remove any big rocks or debris from the root system. Replant the tree and fill in with the same soil. Wait for 4-6 months to allow the tree to grow new roots. Now you can transplant the tree. Dig a new hole first and make sure that it is wide and deep enough to accommodate the tree and ensure the site is well draining. If it’s a big enough tree, you will need large equipment, such as a backhoe, to move the tree from its old location to the new one. Prior to transplanting the lemon tree, prune the branches back by one third. Transplant the tree to its new home. Water the tree in well once the tree has been planted.

Amy Grant

Amy Grant has been gardening for 30 years and writing for 15. A professional chef and caterer, Amy's area of expertise is culinary gardening.