Pomegranates (Punica granatum) are native to the Middle East and Asia and can live to be very old. Several pomegranate trees at Versailles are several centuries old. Pomegranate trees grow well in the tropical and subtropical regions of the U.S. and are quite hardy once established in the landscape. Transplanting a small pomegranate tree will not be difficult and the tree should handle the move well, providing you prepare the tree and new planting area in advance.
Wait until the pomegranate tree goes into dormancy in late fall or early winter before beginning the transplant. The tree is not putting its energy into growing during this time and its chances of surviving the transplant are better.
Prepare the pomegranate tree for the transplant two to three weeks before actually moving it. Using a flat edge shovel, dig one foot down into the soil in a circle approximately three feet in diameter around the trunk of the tree. Cut through the feeder roots by digging straight down, not digging under the tree. Trim the pomegranate’s branches back by one third.
Prepare the new planting site before you remove the pomegranate from the area it is growing. Clear any weeds or grass from the planting site. Amend the planting site with compost of manure. Work the organic material into the existing soil to a depth of one to two feet.
Dig a hole big enough for the root system of the transplant to fit comfortably with the roots spread out. Water the planting site well.
Dig down around the pomegranate where you made your original cut. Loosen the feeder roots and free them from the soil. Dig under the tree to loosen the taproot, trying to preserve as much of it as you can. Release the tap root from the soil by cutting it with loppers, if necessary.
Lay a tarp beside the pomegranate tree and lay the tree gently on its side on top of the tarp. Do not move the tree by dragging it by its trunk. Relocate the tree to the new planting site.
Situate the pomegranate tree into the planting hole at the same depth it was growing before. Allow the roots to fit freely in the hole so that they are not bunched up. Fill the hole with soil and stomp down on it to firm it up around the base of the tree.
Water the pomegranate tree well, being sure the water reaches deep into the soil to the root system. Continue to water the tree three times per week for three weeks. Cut back to watering twice per week, depending on your local weather.