[nafex] fruit trees in pots

Craig Evankoe CEvanko at civconinc.com
Thu Apr 28 11:02:17 EDT 2016

The difficulty with growing  fruit in pots is to keep them frozen during  the winter.  I had 3 apples on M-27 in 24" plastic pots for about 5 years.  I would keep them in an unheated greenhouse and pack them with bags of dry leaves.  The abrupt changes in temperature : freeze-thaw-freeze-thaw is what kills them.  The trees all survived BTW and I ended up giving  them away.  I plan to do it again this year with a new set of apples.

If you can bury them in the ground, pot and all,  I'm sure they would make it.  You may need to cover them above ground with some sort of insulation like leaves or a blanket.


I'm considering trying to grow fruit trees such as dwarf peaches, plums,
cherries in containers. We're at 7000 feet in New Mexico.

They can be outside during the growing season but in the winter I'll
need to 1) make sure they get their chilling hours but 2) keep the
rootball from freezing to the point that the plant is killed.

Does anyone have any idea how much freezing the rootballs could take?
The containers will be stored sitting on the ground, so they are
exposed. Is it a matter of how cold they get or how long they are frozen?

In the ground the roots would be frozen most of the winter but the
temperature might not get as cold as when the roots are in a pot?

The benefit of pot growing would be that I can move the plants indoors
or into a protected spot once they flower and avoid the lethal effects
of late frosts. But then I have to worry about pollination.

Any ideas?

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