Quince trees (Cydonia oblonga) are lovely garden ornamentals. The small trees offer delicate spring blossoms that attract butterflies as well as fragrant, golden yellow fruit. Transplanting a quince that you just brought home from the nursery is not hard, but can you move a quince that’s been in the ground for years? Read on for all the information you need on how to transplant a quince.
Root Pruning Before Moving a Quince
If your quince tree is outgrowing its location, you may wonder: can you move a quince? Moving a quince that is mature requires some preparation. The first step in transplanting a quince with a mature root system is to do root pruning. Start this process at least two months but up to two years before you start moving a quince.
The idea of root pruning is to slice an 18 inch deep (46 cm.) circle into the ground around the tree’s rootball. Use a sharp spade to cut the circle, slicing through the quince roots you come upon. How wide to make the radius of the circle depends in the trunk diameter. You’ll want to make the radius nine times the diameter.
Where and When Can You Move a Quince?
Another early step in moving a quince is to locate a new and appropriate site. Quince trees need sun and prefer well-draining soil. The fruit needs a long growing season to ripen well, so select the tree’s new location with this in mind.
Once you have picked a good location, dig a hole several times deeper and wider than the quince’s rootball. Till the soil in the bottom of the hole and work in organic compost. Water well.
Fall is the best season for transplanting a quince. Once the fruit drops, you can start moving the quince, but be sure to act a few weeks before the first expected frost.
How to Transplant a Quince
Dig out the tree’s root ball from the ground until you can slip the shovel under it. Tip the tree from side to side to slip a piece of burlap under the rootball.
Wrap the rootball with the burlap and remove it from the ground. Move it to the new location. Place it in the new hole, slip out the burlap and fill in the edges with left over soil. Pack the soil in with your hands, then irrigate well.
Caring for a transplanted quince is an important step in keeping the tree healthy. The single most important thing you can do to water the tree regularly and generously. Keep up the irrigation for the first few growing seasons.