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Black gum tree

A few months back, my daughter was given a black gum tree at school. We went ahead and planted it in a pot, it is now starting to grow a few leaves. It is really neat to watch it, even though it's still really small. I know nothing about gum trees, but I really want this tree to thrive, and not kill it. We are renting right now, and I know we won't be at this house forever. I don't want to plant it in the yard yet because of that reason. How long can it stay in a pot before it needs to be transferred? I just used regulator bagged soil to pot it. Is there something special I should add to it? How does the winter affect them? I know trees are very sturdy, but this one is still extremely fragile and I don't want to have the winter cold and wind kill it. This tree is special to my daughter, and to me. I just want to make sure we are taking care of it properly. thank you for your help!

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Location: wnc - zones 6/7 line

Re: Black gum tree

how big is it, and how big is the pot? and where are you located? is the tree outside full time?

i've had a lot of successes with potted trees (even quite small ones), heeling them in to the ground (pot and all), down to where the soil line in the pot matches the soil outside it. a bit of mulch on top, and even young trees should be pretty safe (barring rodents, dogs, etc). you wouldn't need to do that until late fall, when the leaves have already fallen and the tree is dormant. then you can pull it back out in the spring when risk of freezing roots is gone again.

i've had many different trees do fine, just in a pot outside all winter, but if you want a little more protection, heeling the pot in helps. the tree will definitely need a real winter, though, and would do much worse if you tried to bring it inside.

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