[nafex] fruit trees in containers

Elizabeth Hilborn ehilborn at mebtel.net
Thu Apr 28 13:13:18 EDT 2016


On 4/28/2016 12:34 PM, sherwin wrote:
> On 4/27/2016 8:38 PM, Jay Cutts wrote:
>> 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?
>>
>
I am in a warmer climate, but I had to hold young fruit and nut tree 
graftlings and seedlings over the winter in narrow tree pots. They are 
in deep pots and burying them was not an option.

I pushed the pots close together in the corner of an unheated structure. 
I packed all gaps between the pots with hay and rolled up wet 
newspapers.  I surrounded the group with 5 gallon buckets filled with 
water and made sure there were no air spaces between buckets and pots 
(more hay and wet rolled up newspaper). I kept them watered weekly over 
the winter.

They have all but one (9/10 plants) survived the winter and are leafing out.

I am not sure this type of insulated above ground method would work in 
your colder climate. We had a relatively mild (predominantly >10 degree 
F) winter.

Betsy Hilborn


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