Wintering Fruit Trees
I purchased 5 bare root fruit trees this past Spring; 2 pear, 2 apple and 1 peach. I planted them in 5 gallon buckets because I needed to work on my yard to make it ready for planting. The summer passed me by and they are still in their 5 gallon buckets. I have watered and fertilized them regularly during the summer, so they are in good shape. How should I winter them over?
1. Keep them outside and restrict the watering
2. Move them into my non-heated garage and restrict the watering
3. Plant them in the ground mid-Nov
4. What would your recommend?
6699 W 13th Ave
Lakewood, CO 80214
Jefferson County Colorado
I would suggest placing the pots in the ground and properly planting them in the spring, or that you "heel-in" the plants by, for example, covering the pots with a layer of wood mulch. Note: The root ball will need to be kept moist during the winter.
Because it appears* that temperatures may be warm for bit and the soil is not yet frozen, you may be able to successfully plant the trees in the very near future. Fall planting can be alright for deciduous trees, as long as winter water is provided during dry periods and the soil isn't frozen/won't freeze promptly following the planting date.
Here is a page with more information on winter water: https://extension.colostate.edu/docs/pubs/garden/07211.pdf
Regardless of when you plant, I would highly encourage that you take a look over the following two pages:
- Tree planting steps:https://static.colostate.edu/client-files/csfs/pdfs/TreePlanting_636.pdf
- Science of Planting Trees (more detailed):https://park.extension.colostate.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/51/2018/11/The-Science-of-planting-trees.pdf