Purchasing bare-root seedlings in winter

BigAbs321

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Hello I was thinking of buying some bare-root trident maple seedlings. The problem is that they ship immediately and I live in zone 6B where it can remain cold for a while. Is there any way I can protect the seedlings in the mean time? I was hoping to plant them in the ground this year, but I can plant them in pots for a year if it means they survive the winter. Thanks!
 

nutshell

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You should be able to do either as far as I know. Interwebs say tridents are hardy to zone 5. I might give some extra protection to any planted in a pot given your on the edge of hardiness(maybe mulch the in ground plants). I'd do some of both.
 

JEads

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I have a pre-order sale that is going on now and I plan on shipping in late Feb, if that is any better.
Tridents, however, should do just fine if you even mildly protect them.
I am not saying I recommend it, but the large wholesale growers in oregon often take the trident seedling plugs out of the greenhouse in the fall and store them in the freezer till they are shipped in spring. The order I got 3 years ago was frozen solid as a rock and 100% of them came out fine. Freezing them keeps them dormant and reduces the risk of fungal issues in cold storage.
John
leftcoastbonsai.com
 

Deep Sea Diver

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btw: There are also a couple others on this site @Pitoon and @cmeg1 that come to mind known for raising various pre bonsai material you might be interested in.

You can PM them for information.

Good hunting!
DSD sends
 

Canada Bonsai

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Hello I was thinking of buying some bare-root trident maple seedlings. The problem is that they ship immediately and I live in zone 6B where it can remain cold for a while. Is there any way I can protect the seedlings in the mean time? I was hoping to plant them in the ground this year, but I can plant them in pots for a year if it means they survive the winter. Thanks!

I have imported Japanese Maples and Trident Maples from Japan that spent 3 months in a box, bare rooted, packed with damp sphagnum. See attached. The box had no light, no ventilation, and I have no idea what temperatures they experienced during transport but I was told they were kept above freezing (not sure how true that is). Everything was fine :)

In other words, if they are well bundled (see attached) you can leave them bare rooted and plant them directly into the ground like you want to do in late winter/early spring 2022, depending on how late the last frosts are in your area. This would be a very risky idea up here in Canada.

Personally, when the plants arrive I put them in a pot and keep them between +2 and +5C all winter.
 

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Pitoon

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@Deep Sea Diver thanks for the shout out!

@BigAbs321 unfortunately fresh seed availability this year was shot by the issues relating back to COVID-19. Luckily this year I located 6 fully mature trees to collect seed from, so I will not have any issues for seeds come next year. I will have some TM available next year by summer, but the amount will be limited. I do have Acer palmatum from both large and small seed that are going dormant now if those interest you.
 

leatherback

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Take the barerooted plants. Pyut a layer of potting soil in a deep pot. Put the bare rooted seedlings in there, backfill the pot to over the roots. Water lightlightly Put somewhere sheltered outside. Atthe normal time for repotting tridents in your region, work the roots and plant in your growingbed / development containers. No worries.
 

BigAbs321

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Thank you so much for the advice everyone! I’ll go ahead and purchase the seedlings, it seems like the consensus is that it’s okay to buy them now and protect them in a pot with soil.
 

Pitoon

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Thank you so much for the advice everyone! I’ll go ahead and purchase the seedlings, it seems like the consensus is that it’s okay to buy them now and protect them in a pot with soil.
Keep the roots moist and the plants dormant. You should have no issues come spring. I would avoid cutting any roots now until when the buds are about to break.
 

penumbra

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Three years ago I bought several Trident seedlings that were dormant. I kept them in a small fridge. Planted most of them in pots in April but held some until almost June. Every plant survived.
These were tall seedlings and needed to be cut back a bit to fit in fridge. There were other plants in there as well, there were some Amur maple and honey locust, and a few crabs and hawthorn. Never lost a plant.
 

Shibui

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While the top is dormant so are the roots. As others have offered just store with the roots protected from drying - in ground, in pot, in plastic bag - through winter then do any root pruning, etc and plant/potup/etc in spring as they get closer to growing. Tridents are particularly hardy and can cope with a lot more than we imagine.
 

BigAbs321

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So just an update: I received the seedlings and potted them up. One set is in bonsai soil and the other is in regular potting soil. I put a layer of mulch on top of the soil to protect the roots. I plan on watering them sparingly, just when the top layer of mulch dries out. I was planning on taking them out after our last frost and planting them through washers/tiles prior to putting them in the ground in spring. Does this sound like a good plan? Thanks!
970EEA5E-7D21-42DC-A291-4233623BB81C.jpeg03F751DC-3564-4514-9DBA-2734F859746D.jpegD45D64C6-C446-4378-8C7D-37EFFA3843D9.jpeg2ED8F79E-805A-4441-BF12-34EBEFB7BCDA.jpeg
 

leatherback

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The background does not indicate it is cold where you are. Why did you not plant them directly, considering you want to ground-layer them anyway? Could have just popped them in the ground with a washer in place?
 

BigAbs321

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The background does not indicate it is cold where you are. Why did you not plant them directly, considering you want to ground-layer them anyway? Could have just popped them in the ground with a washer in place?
My thinking was that it goes into the 20s Fahrenheit regularly at night, so I just wanted to be in the safe side until spring.
 

Deep Sea Diver

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I hear you… yet

You know, it’s actually sorta funny, or ironic, at least imho that it’s actually more risky to “protect” a hardy species like a Trident Maple by potting these and planting indoors overwinter…. then it is to keep trees outside, yet protected from munching predators and wind.

It’s also more time consuming.


I’ve greenhouse, unheated garage set up, and cold frame here, yet my first choice is always to go outside for any tree…. then sift through which species/age/recent repot or wiring considering cold frame, garage and greenhouse in that order.

Now if you had young Satsuki, it would be a whole different story!

Also please change your location so it’s clear so others can help better. While I’m from Wisconsin originally I do know three different locations in the US called Tri state by some folks.

Best
DSD sends
 

penumbra

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You know, it’s actually sorta funny, or ironic, at least imho that it’s actually more risky to “protect” a hardy species like a Trident Maple by potting these and planting indoors overwinter…. then it is to keep trees outside, yet protected from munching predators and wind.
This is so true. I had assumed these plants were put in pots to be kept Outside. Inside, this early in the winter is a terrible idea unless they are refrigerated.
I have lots of temporarily plants tree seedlings outside with leaves or mulch around them. I just sprayed some peppermint oil around them about an hour ago to keep rodents away. When it is a bit colder I will sprinkle Fox & Coyote urine crystals around. These work great and for much longer than the peppermint.
 

BigAbs321

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This is so true. I had assumed these plants were put in pots to be kept Outside. Inside, this early in the winter is a terrible idea unless they are refrigerated.
I am keeping them outside, sorry if that was not clarified. Keeping them inside is definitely not part of the plan haha.
 

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