Apple Trees in Winter

I may have mentioned this before, but then again, I may have forgotten. Our two columnar apple trees are currently growing in big pots (well, hopefully they are dormant right now!). Anyway, this may turn out to be a situation of not following your own advice.

Piles of trash? Nope, bags of leaves piled around the potted apple trees.

If someone asked me the best way to overwinter a dormant perennial fruit plant in a container, I would probably tell them they had 3 options:

  1. Bring the plant into an unheated garage or someplace similar for the winter.
  2. Dig a hole and bury it, pot and all, for the winter.
  3. Mulch the pot heavily so it is covered.

Instead of doing any of those things, what I chose to do with these two apple trees is to leave them in the garden, and just pile bags of leaves around the pots. Not quite mulching, not quite burying. (Hey, the leaves would just blow around anyway!) Our coldest temperature (so far) was 0 degrees. So not as cold as it could have been, but not warm either. I will be very interested to see if these two trees come through the winter without significant damage!

About Rebecca

I'm a Horticulture Educator with Sedgwick County Extension, a branch of K-State Research and Extension, located in Wichita, KS. I teach about fruits, vegetables, and herbs.

Posted on January 14, 2010, in Around the Garden and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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