Author Topic: Winter Hardening?  (Read 4065 times)

Leo in NE Illinois

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Re: Winter Hardening?
« Reply #15 on: November 01, 2012, 07:37 PM »
Trees are tough. Too much kindness and they come out of dormancy too early to put out on the benches. I am in 5b on the edge of 6a. Trees are left on the benches until the nights start going below 25F. Once the pots are frozen, they get moved from on top of the bench, to under the bench. On the ground, grouped together. I add a tarp to drape the south facing side of the bench. The tarp and the bench supports close 3 sides of the area under the bench. This keeps out direct sun (important, the hot sun on a cold January day is the source of a lot of winterkill) and keeps the wind down. Leaves are piled on top of the trees. That's it. I have had my maples, elms, gingko, flowering quince, japanese white and black pines all survive temperatures to -10 F in that situation. They pulled through just fine. I do move Satsuki azalea into a space that hovers between 35 and 45 F. I do admit that I will move trees that were worked on in late summer or fall in with the azalea. But if the trees have good roots, this method does work fine. It is important to protect trees that haven't had time to mature new root systems. I found some trees do better with late summer transplanting, but these do get extra protection that winter.

That is what I have been doing. And not just one year, this is my pattern for the last 15 or 20 years.


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Re: Winter Hardening?
« Reply #16 on: November 03, 2012, 02:25 PM »
That's a good idea Leo.  Wish I could get away with the same, but I live only a block away from the Lake, with my backyard getting no wind protection even along the sides of the house.  Oh, and no garage (great big back yard though lol).  So I've used a poly tunnel since last year.  I keep them all out till late Nov. and then put them away after a 20% lime sulfur spray.  Wish I could get away safely with a simpler setup!