001: transplant shock

transplant shock — /tran(t)sˈplant shäk/ — noun

Transplant shock is a term that refers to a number of stresses occurring in recently transplanted trees and shrubs. It involves failure of the plant to root well, consequently the plant becomes poorly established in the landscape. New transplants do not have extensive root systems, and they are frequently stressed by lack of sufficient water. — source


It has been roughly 6 days and 6 hours since the pilot of the last airplane I boarded said, “Ladies and gentlemen, we have just landed at the San Diego Airport. Local time is 3:05pm and the temperature is a balmy 76 degrees. Welcome to paradise.”

I chuckled when the pilot made that announcement. Paradise, indeed. Balmy weather, oceanside culture, and beautiful foliage. But how could it possibly be paradise when my mom, brother, and puppy — and the family I forged for myself in the Bay Area — are 460 miles away?


Symptoms of transplant shock are obvious in trees moved in full leaf or in leaves formed immediately after transplanting. These leaves wilt and if corrective steps are not taken, may eventually turn brown and drop. Needles of evergreens develop a pale green or blue-green color followed by browning and dropping. Symptoms appear first on the youngest leaves, which are more subject to desiccation. To reduce transplant shock, plant bare root plants when they are dormant. — source


There are roughly 23 days and 11 hours until my first day of orientation. I’m hoping that the time will pass quickly so I can dive right into the school routine I want to start so badly. It helped immensely that I incorporated a month of downtime into this move. I’ve bounced from housing accommodation to housing accommodation about 8 times in the past 2 years, and the easiest moves have been the moves that took place over calmer months. Moving when dormant is easiest.

Odd things make me severely homesick. There’s a corgi living in the apartment above me and I cried for about 30 minutes after meeting him because I realized I wouldn’t get to see my puppy for at least 3 months. My new goal over the next week is to meet the rest of the dogs and pets in my immediate area of the complex. I’m a little worried that my newest friendships will be affected by my homesickness the most, and that they’ll suffer a bit for it as I grapple with my acclimation. I hope the dogs of the complex will be understanding.

Here’s to putting down new roots.
 — A