How to Transplant Cherry Trees

Cherry trees grow in a wide range of soil types, but they must have good drainage. Avoid transplanting cherry trees in excessive wet or dry soils. Cherry trees blossom in the early spring and are susceptible to frost. It is best to place cherry trees in elevated locations that do not form frost pockets in the spring. Year-old cherry trees should be planted in the spring as soon as the ground can be prepared.

Things You'll Need

  • Cherry tree in a plant pot
  • Sharp knife
  • Large bucket
  • Water
  • Shovel
  • Mulch

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Remove the cherry tree from the container. If the container will not come off the rootball, slice the side of the container with a sharp knife and remove.

Soak the rootball of the cherry tree for 30 to 60 minutes in a large bucket of water before planting to keep the roots moist while working with the cherry tree. Do not leave the cherry tree standing in the water for longer than one hour or root damage may occur.

Dig the hole for the cherry tree as deep as the rootball and twice as wide. This will give the roots adequate room to grow and expand. Rough up the sides and bottom of the hole with the edge of your shovel.

Set the cherry tree in the hole at the same level that it was in the container.

Backfill with soil to the halfway point in the hole. Pour 2 gallons of water in the hole. This will help eliminate large air pockets around the roots.

Fill the hole the rest of the way with soil. Tamp the soil down by softly stepping on it. Pour 2 gallons of water around the cherry tree.

Spread mulch such as wood chips and bark pieces in a 4- to 6-inch layer around the cherry tree. This will help preserve soil moisture and reduce the growth of weeds.

Tips & Warnings

  • Keep the soil around cherry trees cultivated and mulched for two to three years after transplanting. A cover crop of rye can be planted in the fall to prevent soil erosion.
  • Brown rot attacks edible and ornamental cherries. It affects flowers and leaves with blight. This fungus shows up most often during wet spring weather.


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