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fruit trees in tubs

Posted by StashBC z3NWBC (My Page) on
Thu, Jul 21, 05 at 12:15

Can one grow cherry [Bing]... peach, nectarine, apricot and plum ...even pear trees.... in tubs.... and bring them into a barn or some other building during the coldest part of the northern zone 3 year and then let them bask outside the rest of the year?

There is a marvellous book...."Earth on their Hands" about majestic old gardening women and their gardens in which one from Maine does the above.... and I am wondering if there are similar successful attempts here on this forum or similar variations on this theme?

ps.... for those in western Canada or NW US.... and you are in the Fraser Valley of SW British Columbia.... Minter Gardens in Chilliwack is a must see!

Thanks,Ron


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: fruit trees in tubs

Hi Ron, it might be possible, but there are obstacles.

The first is that the hardiest peach and nectarine varieties are probably only hardy to zone 5. As you mention, this could be over come by storing the trees in the barn for the winter. Whether or not this would be adequate protection for the branches Im not sure, the only way to know for sure is to try.
Another obstacle would be the protection of the rootball of the plant. You see, if a tree is planted in the ground in your yard the roots benefit from the insulation value of the ground and the snowcover on top of the ground. It may be -30C but underneath the snow the soil temperature might not go below -5C. If a plant is sitting in a pot above ground though, its roots might get colder than the plant is able to handle.

An ideal thing might be if, inside the barn, you are able to dig a hole in the ground and sink the pots in the ground up to their rims or, perhaps, surround the pots with hay or other insulating material.
If you were to try such an experiment, maybe try to find the hardiest varieties and ones that produce fruit at a young age. Also might not hurt to keep an eye on the number of days the fruit needs to mature on the tree.

There are some apricot varieties hardy to zone 3, though they dont dependably produce fruit each year.

I have a ginkgo tree growing in the ground that needs winter protection here. I basically surround it by a plastic tarp. That makes a difference from having substantial winter damage to having no winter damage. I guess my point is that storing a tree in a barn would be even better winter protection for a tender plant, you just have to worry about the root ball.

Glen


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RE: fruit trees in tubs

Thanks,Glen.... I appreciate your comments ....they are well considered.... I wonder if a root cellar that keeps the temprature just right for root vegetables....42 degrees F would be the answer...or would that temp be too warm and initiate premature growth?

I am itching to try to beat my zonal limitations in this area of wider survival rates for zone 4 and 5 species.... nothing ventured, nothing gained,eh!

I have also found some interesting websites that want to encourage me to try...... lol

Ron


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RE: fruit trees in tubs

I came across this old post and wondered if you ever tried growing any trees in pots. If so, what was the result? I put a thermometer in our unheated attached garage in a cold snap, and it was nearly as cold in there as outside, so I decided to hold off on trying any potted trees.
Northwoodswis4


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RE: fruit trees in tubs

Well, I do the same thing with figs and some persimmons. Figs do great. I got sick of my in-ground figs not ripening, and also getting eaten over the winter with voles. So, I potted up figs as well. Then, of course, this past summer, it was hot, and the in-ground figs very a tremendous success, as were the potted figs.

The persimmons -- the jury is still out. They're now in the middle of their third winter with me. No fruit yet, but perhaps this year.

Oh, and I have a jujube also. I got a bit of fruit off it this year.

The principle is the same for any of them, though. It would work fine as long as you have a place to keep them in cold but sheltered storage for the winter.


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RE: fruit trees in tubs

Hi, I am rated in a zone 5 area but our winters in my town often get to -30. I have a few friends with potted trees of varied species.
Rule 1- get the most hardy you can get
2- plant in the biggest pot possible
3- make sure the pot is insulated with that pink foam all along the inside of the pot.
4- during the winter wrap the pot with more insulation while still allowing for drainage through the top. Also wrap the tree itself with burlap and twine and some sturdy plastic mesh to help keep it intact from any heavy snowfall. Brace the tree as well if it has any wide branches.

The best would be to move the entire pot into a greenhouse or some other protected area but thats not always possible.


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