How to Transplant Fruit Tree Seedlings


Growing fruit trees in your yard will yield a harvest that can be used in jams, jellies, sauces, pastes, savory desserts or simply eaten raw. Transplanting a fruit tree seedling from a nursery container or an indoor container to your garden soil after the danger of the last frost has passed is not a complicated process, but involves a particular technique to prevent the seedling from going into transplant shock, and eventually dying.

Step 1

Remove weeds around your desired planting site up to a 3-foot radius. Wear gloves and remove them by hand, or spray an herbicide directly over them. Choose a planting site that gets at least six hours of sunlight, has well-drained soil and is not surrounded by any fence or building that could prevent the tree from spreading and growing.

Step 2

Dig a hole as deep as the container your seedling is in, but several inches wider. Use a shovel and collect the dirt in a wheelbarrow. Level the base of the hole with the back of the shovel.

Step 3

Add water to the hole and watch it drain away. Also add equal amounts of soil (from the wheelbarrow) and organic compost in a large bucket. Mix well with a hand trowel and set aside.

Step 4

Lift the fruit tree seedling from the nursery container or pot carefully. If it is stuck, lay the container on its side and roll it around several times on the ground until it comes loose. Separate stuck roots or those wound around each other with your hand to encourage them to spread in the hole.

Step 5

Lower the fruit tree seedling in the center of the hole. Adjust the size of the hole by removing soil if it is shallow, or adding soil if you dug it too deep. Spread the roots around the root ball so they spread and grow.

Step 6

Backfill amended soil into the hole until soil level, and tamp it down with your hands to remove air pockets. Water the area until evenly moist, and continue watering at least once a week for the first year.

Things You'll Need

  • Gloves
  • Herbicide
  • Shovel
  • Wheelbarrow
  • Garden hose
  • Compost
  • Hand trowel
  • Fruit tree seedling


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Keywords: fruit tree seedlings, transplanting seedlings, fruit tree transplants

About this Author

Tanya Khan is a freelance author and consultant, having written hundreds of thousands of words for various online and print sources. She has an MBA in Marketing but her passion lies in giving her words wings.