Storing potted trees for winter?

Discussion in 'Fruit Trees' started by KSQ2, Oct 29, 2019.

  1. KSQ2

    KSQ2 Member

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    Location:
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    Hardiness Zone:
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    We have a dozen first year pear trees in 1-2 gallon pots; planting them this fall is not an option on our farm. (The trees would still be called seedlings I'm sure, they are very small in diameter and at the most 15" tall.) I've been told to place them in our garage, which will stay around 40 degrees through the winter months. My question is when do I place them there? We are in zone 6 and it's going to get into the low 20s a couple nights from now. So far we've had one hard frost, but the trees are on our covered patio, so the frost didn't get to them and their leaves are still green. Do I put them in the garage with green leaves? Do I need to leave them out from under the patio on a couple of these upcoming cold nights first? I figured some of you guys would have been through this process before.
     
  2. Chummer

    Chummer Active Member

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    You can probably leave them out all winter at those temps. If possible I would put them in a group and cover them with leaves or dirt. I wouldn’t put them in garage while they are green.
     
  3. catscratch

    catscratch Well-Known Member

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    Exact same situation!

    Interested in answers. Potted plants won't be harmed when it gets to 10 degrees?
     
  4. THE LLC

    THE LLC Well-Known Member

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    If it doesn't get cold enough to freeze the pots solid, you can leave them outside. Actually better for them. Even here in Georgia we have times---sometimes weeks at a time---when it gets cold enough to freeze the pots solid. On those days I bring mine in the garage but once it gets mild again back out they go. 20's for lows and 40's for highs won't hurt them. 0's for lows and teens for highs is a different story.
     
  5. KSQ2

    KSQ2 Member

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    Location:
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    We will have some days this winter with single digit and teen highs. Usually doesn’t last more than a week or two at a time though.
     
  6. Jeff H

    Jeff H Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    The nurseries in my area heel them in for the winter by placing them in groups and heaping lots of dirt/mulch on them to keep the pots from freezing. I'm in SW Missouri so it should be about the same as you. I have heeled in bare root trees in my garden spot in the same mannner just dug a hole vs heaping mulch above ground. Either way pick a sunny spot if you can and they should be fine.
     
  7. catscratch

    catscratch Well-Known Member

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    Any problems with rabbits and mice finding them while they are heeled in? It seems like it would be pretty chancy with that young bark sitting there at ground level...
     
    Jeff H likes this.
  8. KSQ2

    KSQ2 Member

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    Location:
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    I’ll be disking up our garden spot when it dries up enough. I might just put the pots in the dirt and throw some chicken wire over them for protection. Unless there are some other ideas presented. Thanks for the suggestions so far.
     
    Jeff H likes this.
  9. Jeff H

    Jeff H Well-Known Member

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    I never had any issues but this was done at my home in the city. Maybe some burlap wrapped in wire would help.
     

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