Two Year Old Willow Acacia Had a "Baby"!!

  • Sun, September 04, 2016 6:55 AM
    Message # 4228020

     . . . and I'm so excited!! 

    A little background, I received my two Willow Acacia trees back in Sept.'14 & was worried that my delayed planting had killed them.  But I followed advise given here & after a little while they both took hold & are now gorgeous 15' trees shading the southwest corner of my backyard & home.

    They've been producing seed pods over the last year or so, & a few weeks ago, I noticed that there is a new "baby" growing about two feet from the trunk of the one closer to the house. 

    I'm delighted with this development, but it's not in the ideal location.  I have a large bare area on the east side where I lost a Palo Verde earlier this summer where I had planned to add another Willow Acacia.

    The "baby" currently has one main stem about 18" tall & I don't know the best time/procedure for transplanting it.  Should I dig it up now (how far around it should I allow for the roots??) & keep it in a pot to mature for a while before transplanting?  Or is it okay to dig it up & put it in place now??  Or should I leave it be to mature a little longer where it is?  Watering advice please??

    Thanks again for all your help & advice!!

    Norah

  • Fri, September 16, 2016 6:42 PM
    Reply # 4253957 on 4228020

    Now is a great time to transplant. Dig up as much soil as you can manage to move around the "baby" and do your best to move it all intact. I'd dig my new hole before I dig up the new tree, so you lift it and then plant it immediately.

    Give it a good deep soak, and keep it moist for the next couple of weeks. It might go into shock - drooping leaves, browning, etc. but be patient with it.

  • Sat, September 17, 2016 10:39 AM
    Reply # 4254835 on 4228020

    Thanks Erik!!

    I've lined up a shovel to borrow in the next week . . . I got rid of all my big gardening tools when I moved to this patio home a few years ago, swearing I wouldn't be doing any gardening that couldn't be done with a small hand trowel!  And I've started soaking the ground where I want to plant the baby.

    But I have no idea how big to dig around it to avoid damaging its root system . . . the main trunk on the baby is about 1/2" diameter near the base & it's now almost 3' tall.  I was thinking of digging around it about 6 - 9 inches out from center . . . would that be enough?  Also how deep would the roots be? 

    Ooh, one more thing, should I add any soil amendments/mulch/compost etc. in the new hole?  I want to have its new home all ready before I start this exciting new project.

    Thanks again for all your help & encouragement along the way!

  • Mon, September 19, 2016 9:07 PM
    Reply # 4258418 on 4228020

    The limiting factor is going to be the weight of the soil. If you can lift a five gallon bucket filled with dirt, then dig down about 24". Chances are that's more than most of us can handle. Stick with 12" to 18", the depth of your shovel's blade. Lift the tree and soil from underneath with your shovel after you've dug around it, and under it. Avoid trying to lift it out of the ground by pulling on the trunk.

    No soil amendments needed, but make sure the sides of your new hole are roughed up. And don't dig the new hole deeper than what you took out of the original hole. You want the trunk of the tree to be at the same height as where it started. 

  • Sat, September 24, 2016 8:30 AM
    Reply # 4273097 on 4228020

    UPDATE . . .

    So after soaking both areas over the last week, to soften the surrounding soil, I headed out this morning to attempt the transplant.

    After scraping away as much gravel as I could & digging the "new hole" about 15 x 15, I started on the "baby".  What I found was not so much a "root ball", as two long roots spreading out horizontally about 9" down.  I was able to dig out around the one that went "away" from the tree, but the other one seemed to be stemming from the mother tree itself. 

    At this point I felt committed to the project, so I got out my pruning shears (it was only about 3/8" diameter) & cut it as close to the mother tree as possible & rushed it over to the prepared hole. 

    It is now planted & my fingers are crossed almost as tightly as my back muscles!!

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