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Can I move this Lemon Tree to a large pot without killing it

I want to move this lemon tree to a large pot but I don't want to kill it. I haven't started digging yet to see how spread out the roots are. It's a nice tree it's just in a bad location. I've attached a few pictures for reference.

Any help or advice would be appreciated.


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Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

I think it'll depend on what variety lemon tree it is, and whether it is grafted on a dwarfing rootstock. How big is the tree currently (Height and Width)?

What make this a bad location? Growing conditions for it -- i.e. sun exposure, etc? In the way of other purpose for the location? Would pruning it a certain way solve the issue?

If and when you do decide to move it, the usual first step when digging up an established tree is to root prune it first -- cut the roots at a certain diameter and wait one growing season for the tree to grow side-roots within the intended root ball. For large or valuable specimens the recommendation is to do partial root pruning one year, then a second one -- either one half, then other half or regularly spaced quadrants, then the alternating quadrants -- before completely digging it up.

You can sometimes rush the process by root pruning all around at once and allowing root ball to form. Some trees are more tolerant of harsh treatment.

Most trees are best moved when they are dormant or in rest period and not in active growth.

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