Home Page

Plant Doctor Archive

Transplanting citrus

I have three citrus trees which I wish to move to another location. They are about 3-4 years old. Could you advise me on the best time and way to remove them?


The best time to move citrus trees is in winter when they are less actively growing.  This will also reduce stress as conditions tend to be more humid. You will need to dig a large hole approximately around the drip-line of the tree, and dig it quite deeply as well.  Do not pull the tree out without digging the hole properly, as you will damage the roots and root hairs, killing the tree.  Be careful of the feeder roots near the surface — try to avoid damaging them.

If you think you have chopped through some of the roots, then you should prune back the top portion of the branches and leaves.  This will maintain a balance between the roots and the foliage they are supplying with water.

If conditions are dry or get dry, then water the citrus tree regularly.  Do not feed the tree for the first few months unless it starts to show deficiency symptoms (yellowed leaves with green veins is an example of one nutrient deficiency type).

Full recovery and regrowth could take from 3 months to a year, and flowering and fruiting is likely to be much reduced or delayed.  Good luck, and try not to put your back out!

UnitecAdvice by Dr Dan Blanchon from Unitec's Diploma in Sustainable Horticulture and Bachelor of Resource Management.

Reproduced with permission from NZOOM Home and Garden content,
from the previous website of  TVNZ News

The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH

Home | Journal | Newsletter | Conferences
Awards | Join RNZIH | RNZIH Directory | Links

© 2000–2022 Royal New Zealand Institute of Horticulture
Last updated: June 27, 2005