Overwintering apple tree sapling indoors?

bumblinBee

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Hello everybody, very new to this site and to Bonsai.

I found a sprouting seed in an apple I was eating in May, and so I decided to give growing it out a go. I know I won’t really be getting proper apples from this plant because I’m growing it from seed, and that’s alright with me, I just wanted to see if I could keep it alive.
My problem is that it’s now fall, my roughly 4” plant is shedding leaves, and I know it should be going through a dormancy period overwinter but it’s far too small to be planted outside for winter. I live in Canada, the winters here go way way below freezing, so I am uncomfortable letting it be outdoors this winter.

Is it possible for it to overwinter indoors? Can I put it in the fridge to simulate colder temperatures?
 

HorseloverFat

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I would put it outside. Maybe in a shed. Or burried in a pile of snow.
(In addition)
Unheated garages....

window wells....

DIRT is the BEST insulator... bury it to just below the rim with dirt (it’ll look like you’re planting a melon)... leaves, twigs, debris as a “sweater” for up top.

Put it in your/a car, crack the windows...

Decks..

Entry/breezeways...

Strategic Igloos...

Hole in the ground...

🤓
 

Bnana

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Where are you in Canada? Do apple trees grow there? They can handle winters. Especially when it's in the ground.
 

HorseloverFat

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I’m pretty cold.. zone 5.. and these are my packs of/some drying still.. of Malus’, Crabs and “johnnies”... that I have collected from Nature Treks and friends “summer” properties.. .Thet EXCEL here... and don’t even flinch at frigid temps.1EDE4BBC-DD8B-4C7A-8CB4-82A312928305.jpeg
 

LittleDingus

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I find the biggest problem with significantly below freezing temps is less the tree's hardiness to sub-freezing temps and more it's protection from drying out. Super cold air is also air with zero moisture...it's all frozen out! That makes it easy for the air to strip out moisture from any surface that has it. Think wind chill. The air feels much colder because any moisture in your skin is evaporated away immediately taking more heat with it!

It's not the stripping of more heat from the tree that is doing the most harm...its the dissication from the dry air. That's one reason why burying in snow helps. It protects the tree from the bitter cold and especially the wind and helps it retain moisture.

Unheated sheds and garages are fine too...but do check on your trees every week or two! They will still dry out in the cold/dry air! Even my outdoor trees that are not fully under the soil line I water throughout the winter to keep the roots from totally drying out.
 

Kanorin

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Agree with the above advice. The little tree actually needs some dormancy where temperatures are below 40-45 F or so.
 
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Heal it in a protected corner of your yard out of the wind in a pot as Penumbra says. Best option for you. Cover with leaves and if it snows and cover the tree, all the better.
 

Bnana

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If it's that cold the roots won't take up water. So watering helps to prevent that the roots dry out but does nothing for the shoots.
 

bumblinBee

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Thank you all for your responses, clearly everybody here agrees that it should be planted outdoors overwinter. But I’m worried that the frost and wind will snap it, how can I prevent that from happening? Also is it alright to bury it in the ground in the pot it’s currently? That’s what I do with my dwarf roses, but it’s in such a small pot I wonder if that might cause problems with the frost..
 

HorseloverFat

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Thank you all for your responses, clearly everybody here agrees that it should be planted outdoors overwinter. But I’m worried that the frost and wind will snap it, how can I prevent that from happening? Also is it alright to bury it in the ground in the pot it’s currently? That’s what I do with my dwarf roses, but it’s in such a small pot I wonder if that might cause problems with the frost..
I’ve, personally, been known to put THAT pot, inside a bigger pot, filling the remaining space with SOME form of insulation. (I use varying painter/plasterer tape to fill the gaps((With thickness not simply planes))).. or even Pot IN pot IN bucket/larger pot will, in theory provide additional insulation.

But I am sure there are BETTER options.

🤓
 
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Heel the pot in the ground. Surround the tree with a wind break... maybe some cinder blocks or wood... itll make it.

This is how I heel my trees in once theyve lost their leaves.

20201108_124821.jpg
 

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