Planning For Over Wintering JM In Condo

trudiiMay 28, 2007

This year I've collected several dwarf JM 1 Yr grafts. Assuming they make it to the fall I need to figure out how to get them from November to April without dying.

The leading recommendations I've read here have been to bury in the ground or put in an unheated garage - I do not have access to either.

I do have a large storage unit which is essentially an unheated basement. That being said, there are condos on both sides of the storage room so I do not know how low the temperature actually gets. My storage space has plenty of room but does not have access to the windows / light.

I've also considered coming up with some sort of storage option so that they can stay on the porch. 1) Place a few pots in large rubbermade storage boxes and insulate heavily. 2) Create / buy a small collapsible greenhouse.

I'm hoping someone here can offer advice / guidance on what has the best chance of working. Whatever the solution, I'm sure I'll need time to fuss about it which is why I'm asking in the beginning of summer :-).

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Hi trudii, since you haven't received a response yet and I am in your climate, I'll let you know my opinion. If the area you are talking about is unheated but may get some ambient heat from the surrounding condos, I'd probably leave your maples in place until late November. Usually by then temps will have dropped to a point where the plant is dormant but not low enough where there is damage to the plants. Also hopefully your storage area temps will have dropped low enough to keep the plants dormant. [To be sure the temps are low enough in the storage area, I'm guessing below 40 degrees F.,(others correct me if I'm wrong), you can use one of those remote weather station thermometers. They cost about $20 and show inside temp and temp. and humidity of the area where the remote is.] If temps are higher than this, I don't think keeping them in a rubbermaid container is the solution, because on sunny days the temps in the container will rise and cause serious problems with your trees. Alternatively you may want to find the largest container your exterior space will allow and "heal" the pots inside of it with the pots covered with additional soil or mulch inside of it with the dormant plants above the soil or mulch line. As an additional layer of protection you could place stakes at the corners of the container and wrap burlap around the stakes,protecting them from the wind on all sides but leaving things open on the top. One year grafts are tough in Zone 5 even under ideal conditions. I hope these suggestions give you the best chance of survival with your very specific conditions. Good luck, Dan

    Bookmark   May 31, 2007 at 1:46AM
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myersphcf(z6a IL)

I wasn't gonna answer this one cause i am not a condo guy but I think Dan is right instinct was that the storage room would not be cold enough and that the balcony was the right choice . I also cringed a bit at enclosing them to much asking for trouble with sun heated early leafing ... And yes 1 year grafts are cheap but chancy in our zone . I would maybe try to block off an area as Dan has said or maybe just using rope and material attached to the balcony railing ,if it is permitted, of the balcony so cold winds are at a minimum and maybe bury your small pot in a large pot of mulching inside the larger pot with the smaller within making sure not to cover up the stem or plant ;>)..I think that would give it the best chance of survival...But as I said I hasen not to speak authoritativly on this and these are just random thoughts and ideas cause i do NOT know much about condos and their rules and set up ..david

    Bookmark   May 31, 2007 at 9:23AM
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Thanks guys for the response!

I spent some more time thinking and reading other posts. Here is what I've ultimately, (tentatively) decided to do:

Use existing large Rubbermaid tub (without the lid) and make a PVC pipe stand. (I built a prototype on Tuesday see link below for pic). Fill part way with mulch that my parents will take in the spring. Place 3 little trees in the tub and mulch around them. Wrap burlap around the PVC "stand" as a protection from wind. Keep the whole mess up against my building which will shelter from most harsh winds and offer a tiny bit of heat from the brick building. My hope, perhaps delusional, is that they'll have at least a chance this way.

Does this sound more realistic?

If I can tell the temp in the storage unit is below 40 then I'll take them down there for sure. Just want to be prepared if it is not.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   May 31, 2007 at 8:43PM
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myersphcf(z6a IL)

Sounds like a plan to me that should work as long as nothing collaspes on the trees which will leave them JUST a bit smaller ..just keep an eye on it..David

    Bookmark   May 31, 2007 at 8:51PM
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Are my odds of survival significantly better with them being in an unheated garage / attic or basement? My dad offered to keep them but I'd like to try myself. If you think that I'll kill them on the porch, and should give them a couple years of TLC, then the trees can winter in the suburbs as long as I don't have to.

    Bookmark   May 31, 2007 at 9:07PM
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myersphcf(z6a IL)

It's hard to say if your dad has an unheated garage i'd go for it... it would be safer and you don't have to look out there and worry about them each super cold windy Chicago day...attic's tend to get hot then cold asnd that's niot good and basements are usually not real cold just cool and high humidity although some have used them If it were me I'd go for the garage and think would be best ..You father sure knows how to get you to visit more often huh!! heck nothing wrong an occasional home cooked meal ;>) David

    Bookmark   May 31, 2007 at 10:08PM
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