Can I dig up fruit trees and pot them in very early spring to sell in the fall?
Answer: You should be able to transplant the trees into pots anytime they’re dormant and the ground isn’t frozen. However, be aware that if temperatures plummet after they’re in pots, the roots will be more subject to cold damage than if they had remained in the ground. In such a case, you might want to cluster the potted trees together and pile some sort of bulky mulch (straw or leaves should work) around and maybe even over the pots. If it were me, I’d wait a while longer to avoid having to worry about freezing, perhaps early March.To learn more, check out the ATTRA publication Tree Fruits: Organic Production Overview. This publication provides an overview of issues relevant to commercial organic production of temperate-zone tree fruits and, to a lesser extent, tree nuts. It includes discussions of marketing and economics, orchard design, and cultural considerations, including crop varieties, site selection, site preparation, soil fertility, weed control, and pest management (insects, diseases, and vertebrates). It raises questions for the grower to consider in making decisions about orchard and enterprise design. It is available at https://attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/summaries/summary.php?pub=2.You might also be interested in the many resources on our Horticultural Crops webpage at https://attra.ncat.org/horticultural.html.