Want to create microclimate several zones higher

Asked January 26, 2014, 11:06 AM EST

Do you believe it's possible to create a micro climate around a zone 6 or 7 tree, such as a White Mulberry to make it a viable choice for zone 4? I have several high end solar tubes, and was thinking about using them to heat the area around the plant. Am I crazy? Kind Regards, John

Jackson County Minnesota

1 Response

Thank you for the question. The best advice for success is to plant according to your zone, and yours is 5a-4b. A tree such as white mulberry is hardy zones 5-8, but the University of Minnesota states that it is marginally hardy here. Some might make it in a protected area, or microclimate, but they usually don't. So, the research says you probably won't have success. I'm not familiar with the solar tubes you reference and don't know what sort of experiment you are planning, but if you have lots of time and energy, why not try it? Winter in Minnesota is highly variable so your efforts may not be enough to mitigate Mother Nature but you could perhaps take advantage of existing microclimate conditions along with your tubes. Information on microclimates: http://www.gardening.cornell.edu/weather/microcli.html Protecting trees and shrubs from winter damage: http://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/yard-garden/trees-shrubs/protecting-from-winter-damage/ White and red mulberry tree general information: http://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/yard-garden/trees-shrubs/protecting-from-winter-damage/ Good luck