Will frost injure newly planted Flame Maple hedges?

Asked April 22, 2014, 10:06 PM EDT

The Flame Maple Hedges and Norway Maple trees that I ordered arrived about 2 weeks ago. I've been holding them in wet newspaper. Can I plant them now (April 23) or should I continue to wait. They have green leaves sprouting out.

Williams County North Dakota

1 Response

I recommend that you pot up your young plants. Place them in a large container filled with potting soil. You could place several plants in a single large pot; this is only a temporary home for the plants. Give them a good drink of water.

You could keep the plants in this temporary pot for a couple weeks until the ground dries up and becomes workable. The plants could be kept in an unheated garage or in a sheltered area near the home.

It is likely that spring will arrive suddenly. At that time, plant your trees/shrubs in their permanent location.

With regard to frost, young leaves are sensitive to a hard frost (mid to low 20s), but even if they are nipped, we typically only see damage on the tips of the leaves. If the entire leaf gets frozen, the plant has a set of secondary buds that will emerge later in the spring. Your shrubs are very hardy; Norway maple is marginally hardy.