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Question about repotting containerised fruit trees

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davidddd starts with ...
I want to grow some dwarf trees in a large half wine barrel. e.g. peach and mulberry.

If growing in such a large container, is there ever really a need to repot every two years? I imagine following that rule I would have a container the size of my yard in a few decades.

So how large does the pot have to be before the repotting rule is no longer valid? Will they live happily in a half wine barrel for 20+ years?

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davidddd
Melbourne
1st July 2012 5:35pm
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John Mc says...
The only problem with half wine barrels is they don't last, being Oak timber it rots. One of my oak wine barrels was on the verge of collapse with a largish avocado tree planted in it. Avocado trees hate root disturbance so only last week I had to dig a large hole to match the size of the wine barrel. I positioned the whole barrel in the hole first then carefully removed the barrel piece by piece and then backfilled. Only time will tell if it survives the move.
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JohnMc1
Warnervale NSW
1st July 2012 7:03pm
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MaryT says...
Food for thought; John Mc. So how long did the barrel last?
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MaryT
Sydney
1st July 2012 7:12pm
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John Mc says...
I think I got about 4 years from memory. You'll get more or less depending on how it's used. You might get more if you have plants that don't need as much water as an Avocado, and keep the pot off the ground will help with longivity.
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JohnMc1
Warnervale NSW
1st July 2012 8:10pm
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gus says...
I noticed that bunnings have huge 90cm x 90cm fiberglass pots in at the moment. They look nice and would hopefully last longer. They have no hole in the bottom so I guess you would have to fill the bottom with a few rocks to avoid drowning the roots in the Melbourne rain.
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gus
innaloo
1st July 2012 8:20pm
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Julie says...
Or just drill a hole in the bottom! A friend gave me some large pots for my blueberries that had been used for hydroponics (don't know how). They had no holes, so I just drilled a few.
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Julie
Roleystone WA
1st July 2012 8:30pm
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gus says...
For most materials drilling a hole would be fine, but fiberglass? I am not sure if it would rot out the inner core. Perhaps someone else knows.
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gus
innaloo
1st July 2012 9:57pm
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MaryT says...
John Mc did you waterproof the inside of the wine barrels before filling them? Gee four years is not long. Mine must be three years and they look pretty good still. I did put some good size holes in them for drainage. I'm growing citrus in them and they don't like wet feet.
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MaryT
Sydney
2nd July 2012 12:42pm
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Pauline says...
The reason for repotting every 2-3 years is to replace the potting mix. It can go straight back into the old pot. Just trim the roots and tree a bit, use premium potting mix (never soil) and if you have it, home made compost or well rotted manure. A slow release fertiliser and you are good for another 2-3 years.
The reason for changing is because the potting mix breaks down over time and your roots end up being suffocated (as they would with soil in pots). It may not be enough to kill the tree, but it won't thrive.
Of course, if it is betting bigger you can put it in a bigger pot each time.
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Pauline
Adelaide
14th July 2012 3:37pm
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