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  • From: Elizabeth Hilborn <>
  • To: mailing list at ibiblio - Northamerican Allied Fruit Experimenters <>
  • Subject: Re: [nafex] fruit trees in containers
  • Date: Thu, 28 Apr 2016 13:13:18 -0400

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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