Root work in fall?

Rid

Shohin
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#1
I have a few trees growing in the ground that are ready for root work. Is it best to do this in spring, or is early fall ok? I’d be putting them back in the ground, and I’m in Georgia. Some trees have been in the ground for a few years, some are tiny rooted cuttings that have only been planted for 6 months or so (will put tiles under these sooner or later).
 
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#3
What kind of trees are you talking about? In general the Spring is better, fall is doable if the conditions and the species are right.
 
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St Louis, MO
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#4
I would add, what do you consider “root work”? Anytime I’m thinking of cutting roots I want to be sure there is plenty of time for the roots to recover and new root growth to get going. So for me, late summer can sometimes work, but now would not be good. Again, that’s me in Missouri. If it were me, I’d wait to cut any roots until spring.
 
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#5
I repotted and root pruned quite hard a trident maple 2 weeks ago and I can already see roots coming out from draining holes. But then again, my winter is mild and no frost. All my plants are still pushing new growth at the moment
 
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Ithaca, NY
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#7
I would hazard a guess that since your putting it back in the ground the rules are probably different than that of bonsai culture and it might be ok depending on the species and that fact you’re in Georgia. I know that the best time to plant trees into the ground is actually in the fall, not in the spring, though I’m not sure where roitwork would fit into that. My guess is this would be ok for most deciduous at this time but probably a little late for conifers. Only educated guesses here though.
 
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#8
Now is a terrific time of year to transplant deciduous trees in the garden in Georgia, maybe the best. Same goes for bonsai. You just don't want the roots to freeze. Around Atlanta, winters aren't severe enough to freeze more than the first inch or so of soil. Use a generous layer of mulch (be mindful of voles), and you should be fine.
 

M. Frary

Bonsai Godzilla
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#10
It's an old wives tale that it's best to transplant trees in the fall.
Working at a nursery,the trees we dug in the spring were way better off than the ones we did in the fall.
In spring they have the whole year to recuperate.
In fall they're dormant. They have had roots cut and moved to a new environment. If they wake up in the spring they arent nearly as strong as a tree transplanted in the spring.
 
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#11
It's an old wives tale that it's best to transplant trees in the fall.
Working at a nursery,the trees we dug in the spring were way better off than the ones we did in the fall.
In spring they have the whole year to recuperate.
In fall they're dormant. They have had roots cut and moved to a new environment. If they wake up in the spring they arent nearly as strong as a tree transplanted in the spring.
In your climate, this may be true, but the Deep South is very different. Here, we have another month or more before the average first frost, and we won't see daily low temperatures consistantly near freezing until January.
Studies have shown that roots will grow as long as soil temps are above 50 degrees. I would estimate that is well into December around here. Adding mulch can extend that another couple of weeks. There is plenty of time for roots to recover before true dormancy sets in.
 

Dav4

Imperial Masterpiece
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#12
Trees that were mulched on the floor of my garage every winter in zone six Massachusetts grew roots out of the drainage holes and along the top of the cement floor, through the winter, underneath the frozen mulch, even without leaves… There’s plenty of time for root growth this time of year, even where it gets cold. I’m not necessarily recommending you root work the trees, but merely pointing out the trees do grow roots even during their “dormancy.”
 

JudyB

Queen of the Nuts
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#13
Now is a terrific time of year to transplant deciduous trees in the garden in Georgia, maybe the best. Same goes for bonsai. You just don't want the roots to freeze. Around Atlanta, winters aren't severe enough to freeze more than the first inch or so of soil. Use a generous layer of mulch (be mindful of voles), and you should be fine.
Ha, I just replied to a person who wanted to repot a J. Quince, then came here to this one. I like repotting at this time of year, the roots love to grow now more than other times. I just keep my roots from freezing over winter.
 

M. Frary

Bonsai Godzilla
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#14
In your climate, this may be true, but the Deep South is very different. Here, we have another month or more before the average first frost, and we won't see daily low temperatures consistantly near freezing until January.
Studies have shown that roots will grow as long as soil temps are above 50 degrees. I would estimate that is well into December around here. Adding mulch can extend that another couple of weeks. There is plenty of time for roots to recover before true dormancy sets in.
Here it's already freezing at night.
 

Rid

Shohin
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#15
I would add, what do you consider “root work”? Anytime I’m thinking of cutting roots I want to be sure there is plenty of time for the roots to recover and new root growth to get going. So for me, late summer can sometimes work, but now would not be good. Again, that’s me in Missouri. If it were me, I’d wait to cut any roots until spring.
Lol, you know, the root work that one should do every few years for trees growing in the ground. I'm not 100% sure what it entails, but I was going to look into it if timing was ok.
 

Rid

Shohin
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Atlanta, GA
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#16
It's an old wives tale that it's best to transplant trees in the fall.
Working at a nursery,the trees we dug in the spring were way better off than the ones we did in the fall.
In spring they have the whole year to recuperate.
In fall they're dormant. They have had roots cut and moved to a new environment. If they wake up in the spring they arent nearly as strong as a tree transplanted in the spring.
I would think that in georgia, they would have until january or so to recuperate. It typically doesn't get cold here for awhile, every year is different though, and my memory sucks.
 

Rid

Shohin
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Atlanta, GA
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#17
In your climate, this may be true, but the Deep South is very different. Here, we have another month or more before the average first frost, and we won't see daily low temperatures consistantly near freezing until January.
Studies have shown that roots will grow as long as soil temps are above 50 degrees. I would estimate that is well into December around here. Adding mulch can extend that another couple of weeks. There is plenty of time for roots to recover before true dormancy sets in.
whoops, should have read further before saying the same thing you did
 

Rid

Shohin
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Atlanta, GA
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#18
Ha, I just replied to a person who wanted to repot a J. Quince, then came here to this one. I like repotting at this time of year, the roots love to grow now more than other times. I just keep my roots from freezing over winter.
i'm not repotting in this case, these are trees growing in the ground.
Ridley
 

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