Asked January 25, 2014, 1:25 PM EST

I have a volunteer apple tree that needs to be moved. How do I transplant it successfully?

Jackson County Oregon

1 Response

Thank you for using Ask an Expert. If by "volunteer apple tree" you refer to something that has sprouted in your orchard without your assistance, we would recommend that you do not replant it with the expectation that it will produce great apples. The reason is that apple varieties such as 'Fuji', Granny Smith' and hundreds of others are grafted onto root stocks especially selected for qualities of longevity, disease resistance, size, etc. A volunteer sprouted from a fallen apple or a seed dropped by birds does not possess the advantages of a grafted tree. It probably will not produce fruit that resembles that of the parent tree, if it produces fruit at all. It would be wise to dig out and destroy the volunteer. Then, if you wish to grow an apple tree, visit your local nursery or garden supply and choose a healthy grafted tree to plant. Now is the time for bareroot planting. If you need guidance, consult "Growing Tree Fruits and Nuts in the Home Orchard", publication EC819E which you can access at publications.