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Moving fruit tree from ground to pot with house move?

I'm moving house shortly from a house with a large garden to a house with a much smaller courtyard garden. The only plant I want to take with me is an apple tree (Keswick Codlin). It's been in the ground for two years just about. I want to take it with me as it was a wedding present. This has been detailed in the contracts, the buyers know and are fine with it. How well would my tree fare being dug up and moved? As my new garden is small with minimal growing space could the tree be planted in a (very big) container and not die? For the most chance of success should I hire a professional gardener or a tree surgeon to dig it up and put in a new pot for me? Any help and advice very much appreciated. This tree means a lot to me and can't bear the thought of leaving it behind.


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 77,345
    Hi and welcome to the board :)

    Do you have any idea which rootstock your tree is grafted on to?
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 20,111
    I have a Keswick Codlin and it isn’t a terribly vigorous variety, which is good.

    As Dove says, the rootstock is the most important thing to know as it determines the ultimate size of the tree, regardless of vigour.

    In two years it will have put on a fair bit of root but nothing that is overwhelming. Anybody of reasonable fitness should be able to dig it up in a matter of minutes.

    This is a good time of year to move it.

    Buy as big a pot as you can. Think massive. You don’t want to have to repot it in a few more years. And don’t be tempted to buy one that tapers towards the base. Once the tree has grown a bit, it will become top heavy and the wind will blow it over in the first winter gale. Get a pot which is cuboid or cylindrical.

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 6,077
    And don't get a pot that tapers or curves in at the top either, or it will be impossible to get the rootball out without smashing the pot, when the tree eventually needs a bigger pot, or if you move again and want to plant it in the ground..
  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 20,111
    There speaks the voice of experience.😁
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • JennyJJennyJ DoncasterPosts: 6,077
    edited November 2018
    It was a hebe not an apple tree, of no sentimental value and cheaper to replace than the pot.  It took a lot of effort to break up the established rootball to get it out of the pot :s.  Live and learn.......
  • Nanny BeachNanny Beach Posts: 7,726
    Yes, large pot dig it up as soon as possible, so it gets aclimatised to the pot.   We have moved quite  few shrubs and trees with no problems.
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