How to Transplant Small Pear Trees


Small pear trees that are typically 1 to 4 years old can be transplanted successfully if gardeners follow a few principles. Gardeners must choose a good site for their tree, transplant it properly and follow up with regular watering, mulching and fertilizing. Pear trees that have been performing poorly in one location may experience a boost in fruit production if transplanted to a different location. Container-grown pear trees can likewise perk up if transplanted into a permanent location within the yard.

Step 1

Water your pear tree daily two to three days before you transplant it. Apply water until the soil becomes moist. This helps the tree come out of the soil easier.

Step 2

Choose a new site for the small pear tree that will offer full sun and space to mature. Avoid planting close to a house, building or driveway.

Step 3

Dig the hole in your new location by using a shovel. Make the hole twice as wide as the pear tree's root ball, and just as deep as the root ball. If you're transplanting a pear tree that's been in a container, then you can estimate the size of the root ball from the container. If you're transplanting a yard tree, allow 9 to 12 inches of roots for every inch of tree trunk diameter.

Step 4

Remove a container tree from its container. Attempt to pull the tree out by grasping the trunk at its base and then pulling up. If that does not work, then loosen the soil around the edges of the container with a spade. Try to pull the tree out again. Continue to loosen the soil until you can easily pull out the tree.

Step 5

Dig a yard pear tree out of its location. Stick a spade into the soil at the perimeter of the tree's estimated root ball. Then, dig up the soil there by using a spade or a shovel. As you work you'll expose the tree's roots. Continue digging down until you can see most of the root ball. Lift the tree out. If you have a couple of roots that will not loosen, then cut them with a spade.

Step 6

Spread apart the tree's roots with your fingers. If the container-planted tree has circled or tangled roots, then untangle them before continuing. Carry the small pear tree over to its new site. Use a wheelbarrow to do this if the tree is heavy.

Step 7

Place the pear tree in its hole at the same depth as it was planted in the ground before or in its container. Check to ensure the pear is straight in the hole.

Step 8

Backfill the hole with dirt. Don't compact the earth, but just fill in the hole. Water the transplanted tree until the soil compresses around the plant roots and the ground becomes saturated.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Spade
  • Wheelbarrow


  • North Dakota State University: Transplanting Trees and Shrubs
  • Texas A&M: Home Fruit Production - Pears
  • GardenLine: Moving and Transplanting Trees and Shrubs
Keywords: pear tree, transplant small tree, transplant pear tree

About this Author

Based in Northern California, Elton Dunn is a freelance writer and nonprofit consultant with 14 years' experience. Dunn specializes in travel, food, business, gardening, education and the legal fields. His work has appeared in various print and online publications. Dunn holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing and a Bachelor of Arts in English.