Is it too late? Please Help.

Eric580December 20, 2012

My seven month old apple tree is starting to go dormant, but my mom said it needs to be indoors. Should I bring it indoors and bring it out of dormancy? If so how? Or should I let nature let it lose its leaves and go dormant? Please help. Thanks:)

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ribs1

Looks like you are in zone 5b. Is this tree in a pot or in the ground?
Either way that tree needs to stay outside. If in a pot then bury the hole thing if the ground isn't frozen yet.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2012 at 11:16PM
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alan haigh

The reason you can't leave a potted tree out is that the roots are much more sensitive to cold than the top of the tree and being in the ground keeps the temps from going much below freezing for the roots. In a pot they are exposed to much colder temps- depending on the size of the pot and whether it's insulated.

Apple trees are tough and are not house plants- if the tree is in the ground it should stay there- temps have to get below about -35 F. to kill it.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 6:37AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

as noted.. trees are NOT houseplants ...

it HAS TO stay outside ..

and i really dont understand why it hasnt been dormant for 2 months.. you havent been fertilizing it in late fall have you???

as to winter outdoors ... if potted.. the black pot must NEVER be in winter sun.. you might heat up the pot.. and the roots MIGHT come out of dormancy ... so we need to put it where the sun dont shine .. lol ...

dormant trees do NOT need sun.. so dont worry about the top part being out of the sun all winter ...

we would also like to work within the idea of ... GET IT DORMANT .. KEEP IT DORMANT ... so if we can protect it from warm spells .. super ..

we do NOT want dry blistering winter winds to desiccate the tree ... so if there is a prevailing winter wind ... we would want to protect from that ...

and where are you ...?? z5 is too big an area ...

in my z5 MI ... where the ground freezes solid for 3 months.. we do not want a frozen pot.. to accumulate too much water on warm days ...

which leads me all to the north side of a structure [out of sun] ... and around 1/1 .. laying it on its side [avoid water accumulation] .... and covering it with snow [insulation and wind protection] ..

come about 3/1 .. in MI.. i would stand it up .. and around 4/1 .. i would move it to sun ...

and if its in the ground ... i wasted a lot of time typing ... ignore it..

listen to me.. i am glad you have researched this.. and are learning .. but its time for mom to fess up and admit.. she knows anything about growing trees.. lol ... but what she does know.. is how to enable you in the learning process .. good for her ... [just keep double checking her.. and one day you will end up smarter than her.. lol ]...

please answer the fert issue ...

and where are you ... z5 MI is different from z5KC .. which is different than z5 WI/MN/MA .. etc ...

ken

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 8:02AM
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Eric580

I live in Pennslyvania should I put it in the cold side of the basement and not give it sunlight and very little water? Snow and winds are already stirring up here.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 9:06AM
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Eric580

Right now the potted apple tree sapling is under a rocking chair with a pillow in front of the opening outside on the porch (the pot color is green). Is this a good spot? I don't think too much snow will accumulate underneath the chair and its mostly sheltered from the winds.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 11:12AM
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Eric580

Right now the potted apple tree sapling is under a rocking chair with a pillow in front of the opening outside on the porch (the pot color is green). Is this a good spot? I don't think too much snow will accumulate underneath the chair and its mostly sheltered from the winds.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 11:13AM
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ltilton

Is this tree meant to be a container tree for life? Or will it eventually be planted in the ground?

If this is one of your seedlings, it needs to be planted in the ground as soon as practical. This is why some thought needs to be given to the timing of starting apples from seed.

This post was edited by ltilton on Fri, Dec 21, 12 at 12:05

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 12:00PM
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Eric580

It will be planted in the ground when its big enough. Maybe in the next year or two.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 12:07PM
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glib(5.5)

This is a lost cause, isn't it? the thing will be planted when it is big enough. and it is probably a seedling anyway.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 3:10PM
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windfall_rob(vt4)

Why is that a lost cause? awful lot of negativity here today around someone starting to play with fruit trees....
sounds like eric has planted some seeds and wants to try growing them out. Sounds like a great project to me. perfect timing or execution? maybe not, but worlds better than never trying at all.

eric, Your basement probably is not cold enough. If you have a yard, it would be best to either bury the pot, or pile some sort of mulch all around it to help buffer it from the cold.

It doesn't need to be big to plant in the ground. It will be best off and "happiest" in the ground rather than transplanted at a later date. I know it seems like you could better care for it in a pot, but that is generally not true...especially for a tree that will be planted out eventually anyway. If you plant out the little sprout now, just mark it well with a stake to keep lawnmowers at bay and maybe give it a little chicken cloth cage for animal protection.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 3:35PM
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milehighgirl(CO USDA 5B/Sunset 2B)

Protecting it from snow is not the answer. In fact, snow is a pretty good insulator. If the ground is frozen then pile dirt or leaves around the pot to protect it, and even pile snow over it. Just be aware, as I painfully am, that mulch also makes a great home for vermin, and they can girdle the tree. The tree will also need water during it's dormancy; the piled snow will provide enough. If the tree is left on the porch protected from any moisture and exposed to cold temps it will not make it.

The advice you've received is not really negative, just honest.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 4:45PM
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alan haigh

I doubt the ground is frozen yet, at least to the point that you can't break through a very shallow crust.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 5:54PM
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ltilton

Next year, think about putting your seedlings in the ground in September, so they can go dormant naturally. At that point, as milehighgirl says, all they'll need is protection from gnawing varmints.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 7:11PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

Right now the potted apple tree sapling is under a rocking chair with a pillow in front of the opening outside on the porch (the pot color is green). Is this a good spot?

==>> yeah its a lost cause ... it will be dead by spring..

ERIC!!!! its not a houseplant..

it does not need to be rocked to sleep in a rocking chair ...

it does not need a pillow ..

the basement is not cold enough..

its a tree.. it had to go outside.

and it has to go out NOW!!!!.. it is big enough.

trees belong outside.. where they drop seed.. and live from day one.. acorns that fell 2 months ago.. sprouted.. and will winter over OUTSIDE!!!!

i am starting to wonder if someone is pulling our collective leg here .. whats next.. a tv youtube of a crackling fire.. to keep it cozy on long winter nights .. lol

see my post above.. and any of the others..

ken

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 7:31PM
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Eric580

Hello I have an update! Next Spring the seedling will be in the ground. Right now it is on the corner of porch with the pot buried in snow. Thanks for answering my question everyone.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 8:33PM
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ribs1

Eric,
Your tree will not be planted in the ground next spring. If you leave it outside without burying, it will be dead by spring for sure.

You only have 2 options.
1. Plant the whole tree pot and all right now.
2. Put the tree in the garage where it might not freeze, but won't be too warm.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 8:39PM
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Eric580

I'll go with choice two.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2012 at 11:08PM
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maplerbirch(4)

Garages are very risky, but may be OK if you keep moisture around the roots.

You can transplant anything at anytime that the ground isn't frozen.
If you get a thaw, take it out of the pot and put it in the soil and water it in extra well.
For me the natural earth is the safest place for any type of plant during the winter.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2012 at 11:09AM
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