Fruit trees due to arrive, and ground is frozen!

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by NewEnglandBeth, Dec 8, 2004.

  1. NewEnglandBeth

    NewEnglandBeth Well-Known Member

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    What would you do with the trees?

    I have two cherry and one black mulberry trees arriving shortly. I had ordered them online three months ago, and kind of expected them to arrive before the ground was frozen! :confused:

    My question is, once they arrive, can I store them in the cellar during the winter months? I live in zone five...we will have frozen ground now until March. Part of the cellar is still dirt...we have a hundred year plus farmhouse....could I store them in that part of the cellar, and will they remain dormant all Winter?

    Should I pot them and transplant them in the Spring?

    Should I cancel the order at this point?

    Thanks
    Beth
     
  2. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    They are dormat and if you keep the roots moist they should make it. You could put them in a bucket and wrap the roots with wet paper. Keep them cool. I have never been lucky enough to kill a mulberry. The birds spread the seeds and they come up in our evergreens every year. I can cut them off at the ground, and several will sprout right back up from the roots.
     

  3. amwitched

    amwitched Well-Known Member

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    If you ordered them online, they may not show up until spring. I ordered potatoes last winter and they didn't arrive until mid March - one month too late. Needless to say, I did not have fresh potatoes this year. :no:
     
  4. jwulf

    jwulf Member

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    You should probably be able to just "heel" them in until you can plant them. Just about any decent gardening book should discuss this.

    The general idea is to dig a trench and then place the roots in the trench with the trunk at an angle. Cover the roots with soil, give it a good watering, and then cover with some mulch.

    It should keep them happy for quite a while.

    -jwulf
    jwulf@cinci.rr.com
     
  5. 3girls

    3girls Well-Known Member

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    If you cannot dig, build a modest pile of sawdust, shredded leaves, or peatmoss, lay out the trees at an angle, and cover well with a foot or more of the same material. You may have to put up some kind of trellis to hold them near vertical. Light can permanently bend trunks.
     
  6. mdvaden

    mdvaden Member

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    Get them acclimatized.

    If those were outdoors already, you have no problem. If not, slowly adapt them. Possibly keeping in an outdoor shed - unheated - for a week. But don't keep them dark.

    Adapt them to outside quickly.

    Get some soil ready. If it's frozen, bust the surface with a pick.

    If need be, bring some soil in a garage in a wheelbarrow where you can bust it up and crumble the chunks.

    But - for me - I'd never store outdoor trees rated for my zone, in a garage for a month or months.

    Place mulch to insulate the roots.

    Stake bare root, but yank the stakes out next summer. Trees develop stronger trunks when stakes are not used.
     
  7. mdvaden

    mdvaden Member

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    Almost forgot...

    If your location is sunny, consider protecting the trunk from "some" sun the first summer.

    I prefer one or two wraps of window screen.

    It breaths, but lets some light in so the tissue can adapt.
     
  8. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    Most nurserymen will hold dormant stock and not ship till proper planting season for your zone. You might try calling them and requesting spring delivery.
     
  9. NewEnglandBeth

    NewEnglandBeth Well-Known Member

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    Yup, live and learn....the trees didn't make it through the winter.

    The good news is I reordered from another nursery, which shipped what I wanted right out....I have two mulberries and one self polinating cherry.

    Thank you for all your advice, though! I wont' do that again.....I'll be much more assertive about when the trees arrive.