Winter Watering

remist17

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I read in several books that the outside trees should be watered once a month. I live in south central PA and I am affraid I water the trees when its 10 degrees out the roots will freeze. What suggestions or what do I do for winter?

I plan on keeping them in a building with clear roof and no sides.

Thanks
 

rockm

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Watering depends on how you're protecting the roots of the plants...are you planning to mulch them, leave them exposed...?
 

Bill S

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water well when putting them away, and keep an eye on them.

If frozen they don't need water.

They won't use much, but still keep on them. You say no sides so wind can dry them out, one of the things you strive for, winter wind is a nasty dececant.

Cold frames with snow piled on the pots will do the trick for the most part, but the occasional check will keep all happy.

Lots of methods, but it still comes down to if they are not frozen, they don't want to be dry.
 

remist17

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I was planning on putting straw on and around the pots.

What is a cold frame? Is that a 4 sides of plywood and a top of glass?
 

Bill S

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Actually better off with opaque plastic, glass lets in the sun, which heats up the cold frame, which you don't want to happen. An opaque wall or 2 and top will let in enough light to satisfy most evergreens that are basically frozen. They are basically for blocking sun and wind. Open it up from time to time and put snow in/on all your pots.

Word to the wise, when filling up your cold fram avoid the temptation to pile smaller pots inside bigger ones, the snow/water doesn't make it to the second pot, and the roots in those areas suffer, as in my case die. Lost 2 this year, 1 of which was really coming along.

Don't forget a box of decon, if you want twigs and bark on your trees when you bring them out in the spring.

The other thing you can do is burry the pots in the ground next to the house of garage etc. and mulch up around the tree, with a wind break around the trees.
 

remist17

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Ok so if I understand... make a box with lid. Put the pots in, put snow on top,

how much watering do I do? Items going in. Crab apple, oak and elm.
 

Bill S

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Put on some more snow when the previous is gone.

Also get away from the thought that frozen is bad, unless you put tropicals in there.
 

Mike423

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The root ball and soil freezing is fine. The only way it could cause some damage is if there is a consistent variation in weather spikes, where the soil is continually thawing and then refreezing.
 

remist17

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Ok i think I understand. put snow on the pots during winter only no watering when they freeze
 

Mike423

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If your keeping them outside packing the pots with snow will provide insulation as well as some protection (of the root ball and soil thawing) on warmer days. You wont need to water them if the soil is frozen since it obviously wont absorb any of the water due to already being frozen solid.
 

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