Newly Registered
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Oct 03, 2015 12:52 am
Location: Toronto, Canada

cheap efficient ways to keep a baby tree from freezing?

new to tree growing, but I'm already fearful for my shenandoah paw paw trees...
they are only around 2.5 ft tall ...drove 3 hours to get them, I want them to live through the winter here ...
temperatures can get to -17 C or zero Fahrenheit ....

I'm thinking of ways to keep the roots/plant from freezing..I came up with these ideas and wondering if they will work...
I'm already mulching them like crazy ..
1) buy a heating pad, I can get them for like $10 ...wrap it around the trunk, wrap the tree in tarp/burlap
2) put a big jug of hot water next it it every night wrap both the tree and jug together in clear tarp..keep the lid close on the jug, so the heat dissipates slowly..
3) be lazy, cover it with burlap and hope it doesn't die

any thoughts?

User avatar
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Re: cheap efficient ways to keep a baby tree from freezing?

DO NOT put a heating pad on your tree! WAY too hot.

Paw paw is a temperate cold hardy tree. It needs a period of winter cold dormancy. They cannot be grown too far south, because they don't get enough chilling hours.

It is rated hardy to -15 deg F, but I know the ones in my (previous) backyard have survived colder than that, just fine.
The pawpaw is a tree of temperate humid growing zones, requiring warm to hot summers, mild to cold winters, and a minimum of 32 inches (81 cm) of rainfall spread rather evenly throughout the year

Mulch well should be all you need to do. And that is not being lazy, it is giving the tree the conditions it needs.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

User avatar
Posts: 28173
Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 11:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: cheap efficient ways to keep a baby tree from freezing?

So you just planted them recently?

When I was researching pawpaws before deciding to buy some, I noticed there was a couple of serious pawpaw only websites that would only sell dormant trees in spring, and back then when it was rare to find them offered, most online nurseries only shipped them in spring.

There was also mention of their taproot and some difficulty in planting bareroot pawpaw vs. container seedling trees.

2.5 ft above ground tree is pretty big actually, so I hope you were able to plant them with their roots intact. I think the container ones I got shipped were only about 1.5 ft above ground.

Were they already dormant when you planted them? (Mine are not -- still have yellowing but green leaves on them here.)

Put tree collar around them to guard against field mice and voles. If you have rabbits and deer in your area, you will also need to put a wire fence/cage around them so they don't get nibbled by winter-hungry animals. Make this wide enough for this winter and to allow for growth next season.

This makes perfect cage for also pouring/keeping dry fall leaves in to protect the trunk and branches from the air temperature and freeze drying but make sure that the trees are dormant -- wait to do the heavier mulching and protecting until after the ground freezes. NOTE that this step may not be necessary if you tend to have heavy snowfall and snowcover for most of the winter.
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

Newly Registered
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Oct 03, 2015 12:52 am
Location: Toronto, Canada

Re: cheap efficient ways to keep a baby tree from freezing?

thanks guys/gals...

Yeah, I planted them like 3 days ago...I live a few hours from Niagara Falls, so I drove to one of the nurseries in the area that sells Shenandoah and Susquehana babies....they were grown in 1ft wide plastic containers....
they aren't dormant yet, they still have green leaves.....mine came with this plastic tube surrounding it, paid around $40 a piece.

sadly, NO ONE in my circle have heard of pawpaws...some nurseries I've called did not even know of its existance....
the fruits you can grow in Zone 6 are really dull..apples, pears and berries, I've always wanted to grow Mangos, but the winter here won't permit that...so happy to have found a replacement.
There are so many great tropical fruits I love, but can't grow...Mangosteen, Sugar Apple, Lychees, etc..

I will just pile another few inches of mulch on top then :mrgreen: O:)

Super Green Thumb
Posts: 2665
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2011 6:52 am
Location: SE-OH USA Zone 6-A

Re: cheap efficient ways to keep a baby tree from freezing?

Hows about a rodent proof collar, and a nice thick mulch. Its not freezing that is the problem, it is freeze-thaw cycle,
Think like a tree
© 2016 Invisable Inc.

Return to “FRUIT FORUM”