Some insight needed on moving South.

americanelmer

Shohin
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Hi ,
I have been growing trees in the Mid-Hudson Valley NY since 1972.
I am beginning the process of moving to the Tampa area of Florida.

I would especially like to hear from folks who have done a similar move themselves.

Most of my deciduous stuff is Acer Rubrum, Japonicum, Bugreanium, American Elm, Fagus Sylvatica, and other miscellaneous local natives.
I also have a large number of tropicals.


Is there anything special I should do to the plants before moving. So far scheduled for Oct - Nov.

Any special Ideas on packing them for the trip?

Thanks in advance for any help.

Stu
 
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yeah, sell em' ... ( only joking)
I am not to sure how well your list of plants are going to do down here in tampa ???
I think you might have to do a little research...
the trops. no prob.
 

mat

Chumono
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I'm with Stacy in that I don't know specifics but am doubtful that your deciduous trees will thrive there.

Get ready to start pruning those tropicals next spring as they blast off after coming "home". Also, it does get cold enough that your fragile trees may need some attention a few months after you arrive. Tampa isn't exactly tropical year-round.
 

jk_lewis

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I've moved trees in both directions. It can be traumatic.

Any tree that was collected from the wild in NY is unlikely to survive in the Tampa area. Even thugh Acer rubrum grows in New York and in Florida, the NY trees are genetically coded for long winters and relatively cool/warm summers. They will decline sharply in Florida's short, warm winters, and long hot summers. The same is likely true for most of your other deciduous stock if it was "born and bred" in the north. Leave all larch, Fir, northern pines, spruce, hemlock and other northern conifers behid. None of them will survine in Florida.

Your tropicals will be happy as clams at high tide in Tampa, except for a few weeks in mid to late winter.

Good luck.
 

mersino

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i would have to agree its a bit much down here for alot of your decidious tree's, however it may be exciting to work with some new species you still have alot of great options for the tampa area.
 

tatorger

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Hey if you are looking to sell any of your trees i may be interested. I live in the hudson valley too!
 

Alex DeRuiter

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I don't want to steal this thread, but how significant of a move would it be from Michigan to North Carolina? In about five or eight years, I'll be moving down to North Carolina to complete my degree. I'm just wondering if I should start weeding out certain trees from my collection that won't survive down there. I would assume that going from zone 5b to 7a might be a little drastic, but what do you guys think? I'm sure any move to a different zone will affect different species more significantly, but I'm speaking generally. I've got mostly maples, quinces, cotoneasters, firs, spruces, and a juniper (as if that's not general...lol).
 

Dav4

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I don't want to steal this thread, but how significant of a move would it be from Michigan to North Carolina? In about five or eight years, I'll be moving down to North Carolina to complete my degree. I'm just wondering if I should start weeding out certain trees from my collection that won't survive down there. I would assume that going from zone 5b to 7a might be a little drastic, but what do you guys think? I'm sure any move to a different zone will affect different species more significantly, but I'm speaking generally. I've got mostly maples, quinces, cotoneasters, firs, spruces, and a juniper (as if that's not general...lol).
Alot depends on where you end up in NC. The mountains and peidmont of NC get decently cold winters...everything you have would probably do ok there. The coastal plain of NC is a different story, though...they got gators there, man! I'd think the firs and spruces would not like the summers there. For what it's worth, I moved from 6a MA to 7b GA a bit over two years ago with a truck load of Junipers, pines, maples, and others...they've all done fine, more or less.
 

007

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I think the best thing that can be done is exactly what you are doing now . . . planning in advance.

A year ago, I moved from Detroit to Los Angeles. I spend time going through my collection (which before the move was ~30 tree's in various stages of training). I took the opportunity to cull the herd so to say. The first thing I did was to go through my collection and make decisions about each tree and whether or not it was moving along the trajectory I had in mind for the tree, how far along it was, and if it was worth keeping in my collection (lets face it, we all have those tree's that just aren't that great!).

Once I had reduced my collection down to those tree's that I was fairly certain I wanted to keep, I started researching the individual species to get an idea of how each might fare in the new climate. Now, I made a pretty big move . . . Zone 5 to Zone 10. Much of my collection was doomed I quickly learned. If the tree didn't stand a chance to THRIVE (not just survive . . . ), it went to the chopping block (not literally of course :D). This quickly reduced my collection down a few that I decided to keep that I was relatively confident would be able to do well in the new climate.

A few weeks before the move (I moved in spring mind you) I did all seasonal work . . . everything was repotted, pruned and fertilized. I also dug up two tree's that were in a grow bed and trunk chopped them (this was a big gamble) and potted them up. Then came the move . . .

Most of my remaining collection were shohin sized tree's, so the following may or may not be applicable, but ALL my tree's came in the car with me. None were trusted with movers. I found boxes for all of them before hand and did several trial runs with packing, etc. I found that two hard sided coolers worked best. I lined the bottom with a damp towel and placed the tree's in. I propped the lid open with a rag to allow air to circulate. All my tree's made it to CA just fine . . . though one of the two trunk chopped tree's died shortly after arrival.

The hardest part was definitely parting with the tree's that I wanted to keep but that wouldn't do well here in CA. I had several tree's that I was very, very sad to part with. :(

Sorry if this is obvious info, but maybe its helpful to someone . . .
 

jk_lewis

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I don't want to steal this thread, but how significant of a move would it be from Michigan to North Carolina? In about five or eight years, I'll be moving down to North Carolina to complete my degree. I'm just wondering if I should start weeding out certain trees from my collection that won't survive down there. I would assume that going from zone 5b to 7a might be a little drastic, but what do you guys think? I'm sure any move to a different zone will affect different species more significantly, but I'm speaking generally. I've got mostly maples, quinces, cotoneasters, firs, spruces, and a juniper (as if that's not general...lol).
I moved from north Florida (zone 8) to western north Carolina (zone 7 - approaching 8 with climate change) and lost about 20% to the move and that was just one or even a half zone. Some of them too two years to die, but it ws still a loss caused by the move.

Michigan to the NC mountains would still be a full zone warmer. Moving elsewhere in NC would be a two-zone move. Iffy for conifers, and for natives to Michigan.
 
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I don't want to steal this thread, but how significant of a move would it be from Michigan to North Carolina? In about five or eight years, I'll be moving down to North Carolina to complete my degree. I'm just wondering if I should start weeding out certain trees from my collection that won't survive down there. I would assume that going from zone 5b to 7a might be a little drastic, but what do you guys think? I'm sure any move to a different zone will affect different species more significantly, but I'm speaking generally. I've got mostly maples, quinces, cotoneasters, firs, spruces, and a juniper (as if that's not general...lol).
Just out of curiosity, what school and what program?
 

americanelmer

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Hi Folks,

Just a note to say that I and the plants and my Wife and our dogs have made the move to Florida with very little trauma. I moved about 150+ plants temperate and tropicals. I seem to have lost 3 plants in the move. We ended up driving from NY to Florida hauling a trailer full of plants and other stuff. It took us about 22 hours to make the trip which turned out to be one of the coldest nights I could have picked. The further south we went the colder it got. We reached a low of 24 deg in Northern Georgia and then it slowly got warmer. We made the trip Jan 19th to the 20th 2012

About 3 or 4 days after arriving and un packing the plants ( all the tropicals were packed in a plastic bag which was then packed in an additional bag filled with packing peanuts. The deciduous and the few evergreens I grow were packed in single bags while still frozen from their outdoor winter sleep) the buds of almost all the plants started to swell and grow.

Here are some pics of the plants in their new digs in florida. I built 7 benches 24" X 16' with the tops just below chest height. Each bench is provided with a time controlled mist irrigation system which is currently set to run for 10 minutes 3 times a day. The water from the reclaimed water system is quite alkaline and has necessitated fertilizing with an acid fertilizer every 7 days. Sofar most of the deciduous plants have been leaf pruned (completely) at least once and in some cases twice.

I will continue to provide progress pics and the results of my experiences with how the NY native trees make out here in the sunny south.
 

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iant

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Holy smokes you got an incredible setup! I would die to have that kind of full sun bench space to work with! It looks great too. Your plants should be very happy. If something doesn't thrive with that set up then I'd blame the zone!
Ian
 

JudyB

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glad that you fared so well in the move, and it looks like a very happy place to work on the trees. I'll be interested to see how the maples fare long term.
 

Lancaster

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I'm glad I saw this thread, as it gives me even more hope! I am moving from South Central PA to North Florida at the beginning of August.
Yeah, I know, not a great time to be moving your trees to FL. But, I really have no choice.

Sold, or have given away all my larch, yews, alpine firs, spruce. Just have a feew more to deal with. :(

I will post a similar thread as to the success or demise of my collection.

Wish me luck!
 

mat

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I definitely agree with the others; your new set up looks great. It looks like you have a separate timer for each bench - very nice. Welcome to Florida. I'm sure you'll find some fun new-to-you species to play with soon.
 

edprocoat

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I move from Ohio to Florida each winter and have never had much of a problem. This year I did lose a plant to the heat, it was an unusually hot & dry winter this year and my Birds Nest Spruce dried up and died. My junipers have never been any problem nor my elms either and naturally the tropicals really love it. I pack them in clear plastic boxes, the large ones liek Rubbermaid, the clear ones allow the light to shine through on them and I can make sure they have not tipped over. This year I also lost my Ilex Vomitoria to an unexpected freeze when I returned to Ohio, it browned all the leaves on my several Ficus and my Fukien Tea and my Scheffelera Arboricola but they all have came back strong after I defoliated them. I always seal the boxes with tape when moving too, believe it or not plants produce air so they are fine in a sealed environment. The plants I keep are mostly 24 inches and under and the large boxes are big enough that my largest have just the top foliage pushed down a little and I can put 3 large plants in one box and 4-7 plants in other boxes. I water them well before I put them into the box and I stick rags or old towels between the bases of the pots to keep them from moving around. Most of the trees that are in Florida are not native to Florida, even the palm tree is an import, the only true Florida tree is the Florida pine tree. I have brought down many trees and planted them in my Dad's yard and my cousins yard over the years for lndsacpe and they all did well, I have planted cherry trees, apple trees, several oaks and at least a dozen of the Ohio cedars without a death. This year I put two sided tape on the bottom of the pots to keep them from shifting in the box, which worked well, but I would not suggest it for two reasons, first its hard to get them out of the boxes and doing so requires prying them up and you shake the hell out of them and end up losing some soil mix, secondly the tape leaves half of itself on the box and the other half on the bottom of the pot and is a real mess to scrape off. In the future I will stick to using rags to keep them braced.

ed
 

Bonsai Nut

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The are some cold hardy conifers that won't survive the move. Japanese White Pine (on its own roots) is an example.
 
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First off that is a great set up. You might consider putting a framework to put 50% shade cloth over the plants to ease their transition.

And second, you have moved to bald cypress and buttonwood heaven. Any empty pots you end up with will not be a problem.
 
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