Taiji
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Rec'd some bare root trees but...

Rec'd some bare root trees but...

Ordered some bare root fruit trees and they have arrived. I had my holes all ready to go so when the trees came, I could put them right in. But, we're having an unseasonable cold snap right now (of course :lol: ) (that's not a laugh of amusement by the way, but rather an hysterical laugh of resignation and desperation) so all the soil I piled around the holes is frozen solid. Do you guys think the trees will be ok for a few days, like, in the basement still wrapped up? A bit of a warm up is coming by then, I think I'll be able to work the soil and fill the holes by then! Usually around here it's not this cold this early if ever. Never expected this to happen!

I guess my main question is, should I leave the trees in an above freezing environment, or leave them out? I'm thinking don't leave them out with 9 degrees forecast for tonight.

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applestar
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Re: Rec'd some bare root trees but...

You don't want to put them anywhere they would come out of dormancy. Do you have a suitable garage, shed, barn, crawl space?

Open the package and make sure the roots are surrounded by some kind of moistened medium -- usually shredded newspaper or sawdust. Re-moisten and re-pack the roots and add some more material if they were skimpy. Then put them back in the plastic and the box and then wrap in tarp or something if your storage location is going to be lower than upper teens to lower twenties. And then tilt the boxes over so the trees are at about 45° angle, and insulate the roots some more somehow.

I don't know if you could keep them this way for longer than 2-3 days even if they remain dormant though. Also, I think it's better to expose the upper portion of the trees to sun when it's not so freezing or at least supplemental light (and mist) -- important thing is to protect the roots and the graft from freezing and drying up.

You could put a plastic sheeting or tarp over the planting holes and soil mounds to help thaw them enough to dig. (Double layer dark with clear on top is supposed to warm up most as long as there is sun)
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.

Taiji
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Re: Rec'd some bare root trees but...

Thanks, I do have a crawl space that is cool. Garage might get too cold; it's unheated.

That's a good idea about the black and clear plastic warming the soil. Wouldn't have thought of that. Bright and sunny next few days, but cold. I forgot to mention that there is also 4 to 5 inches of snow over everything too. But, I can deal with it!

j3707
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Re: Rec'd some bare root trees but...

I've kept bare root trees in mulch until they started to bud out in Spring. I just laid them nearly horizontal, heaped a big pile of bark over the roots and made sure the bark stayed moist (around here that's not exactly difficult). I kept them that way for a couple months.
Avoid predictable disaster caused by unpredictable events, keep yourself open to positive outcomes from improbable events. -Aaron C. Brown

Taiji
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Location: Gardening in western U.P. of MI. 46+ N. lat. elev 1540. zone 3

Re: Rec'd some bare root trees but...

Thanks. I was weighing several different possibilities including heeling in deep sand, mulch on top. Held off for a day, then went out and risked planting.
It wasn't my most pleasant gardening experience ever I can definitely say! A gray day that never got above freezing. Down in the holes I had prepared, the soil was not frozen for the most part. So, I worked with it; mixed in some composted mulch and managed to get everything planted. Watered in well and put a thick blanket of mulch on top, then raked the snow back over as well! Trees came from Georgia, so I'm hoping suddenly being thrust into enduring 9 degree nights wasn't too much of a shock! I'm hoping once they get in the ground they're pretty safe.

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BotanicalBoi
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Re: Rec'd some bare root trees but...

We have had to use our garage for this purpose. While it is unheated, keeping the plant from the frost seems to be an important feature. We also use our basement with a space heater during cold spells. Good luck with your new trees! :D What kind of trees did you get?
In my garden there is a large place for sentiment. My garden of flowers is also my garden of thoughts and dreams. The thoughts grow as freely as the flowers, and the dreams are as beautiful. ~Abram L. Urban

Taiji
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Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2012 7:19 am
Location: Gardening in western U.P. of MI. 46+ N. lat. elev 1540. zone 3

Re: Rec'd some bare root trees but...

Thank you BB. I got an apricot, peach, apple, pear, and a couple of crabapples. There is already a really old apple, and old pear on the property but I don't know how much longer they will last, so I wanna get some new things going!

JONA
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Re: Rec'd some bare root trees but...

One other thing I would add to the excellent advice given.
If you 'heel' the trees in straw, bark, shredded paper etc......make sure they Are in mice free space.
We suffered severe damage to the roots one year when a whole load of mice found our root protection was ideal for them to over winter in too....along with supply of tasty snacks of delicate tree roots.
John

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