Author Topic: Root Freeze  (Read 7640 times)

Tony G

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Root Freeze
« on: December 07, 2011, 11:56 AM »
   I just received my ponarosa from Andy Smith. What a nice tree, his pictures don't do it justice.  Well, the temps have fallen into the 20's F at night. In Andy's care instructions he says to dig a hole, fill with mulch, place tree in hole and cover to the rim of the pot with mulch. Will bark chunks work for this? It's I think the only mulch at lowes that is not artificial. Thanks fo any help.
 

Don Blackmond

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Re: Root Freeze
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2011, 12:36 PM »
yes that will be fine.  you are essentially just protecting the roots from wild temperature fluctuations.  the unprotected pot will warm and cool every day/night, and the temperature swings can be extreme.
you can wrap the pot in cloth/burlap and set it on the ground somewhere protected from wind and sun also.
 

Mozzy

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Re: Root Freeze
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2011, 01:26 PM »
Absolutely fine. Just one quick tip though; I see many trees left on display stands during winter. wrapped or otherwise. Get the trees off the display stands and just stand on the ground. Temperatures will be much kinder than being left stuck up in the air being blast frozen. This has even further benefits if you have a sheltered display area. Ground to up high can vary many degrees.

Mozzy
 

Tony G

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Re: Root Freeze
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2011, 01:30 PM »
Don,
   Thanks for the  reply. What do you mean by the sun also? I thought Pondies liked the sun. And the spot I keep my bonsai gets sun most of the day. It's the only place that doesn't get blasted by the high winds we have out here. Should it just be left in the shed its in now? It's a 10'x10' metal building with a small window so it gets a little indirect light and is not insulated so it gets cold at night, but the temp fluctuations aren't as great. I'm just not comfortable with it getting that little light. However I'm new to pines and don't know very much about them.
 

John Kirby

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Re: Root Freeze
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2011, 02:13 PM »
You are in a petty high zone (low temp wise), I would put them outside, do you get snows that stick very often (like Big Bear or Arrowhead)? John
 

Don Blackmond

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Re: Root Freeze
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2011, 02:20 PM »
Once frozen, it won't need any sun.  You can keep it in 100% shade or even in a cold building with no light.

That wasn't my point though.  What I meant is this: keep sun off the pot.  Sun shining on a pot will warm it up, especially an unprotected dark colored pot.  Dark colors absorb light and heat up.  A constant freezing/ thawing cycle can damage the roots.  

There is another thread in this forum, I believe discussing greenhouses, in which Bill Valavanis provides information on cold storage of his collection.  Check it out.  You will find good information there.
 
 

Treebeard55

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Re: Root Freeze
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2011, 03:34 PM »
Like Don said, bark chunks will work well. Another option is dry pine needles, if you have someplace to get them.
 

John Kirby

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Re: Root Freeze
« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2011, 04:03 PM »
Don, he is in Zone 8b-9a. The low temps are not that low, like you and I think of. The tree won't be frozen- it will get some twenties, maybe on an exceptionally cold night in the teens, the days will be 40's-50's plus most of the time. The wind is probably the killer in desert.
 

Chrisl

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Re: Root Freeze
« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2011, 05:33 PM »
I just placed mine on the ground and mulched up to the rim of the wooden box.  I didn't bury it, is that ok?
 

Don Blackmond

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Re: Root Freeze
« Reply #9 on: December 07, 2011, 08:47 PM »
Don, he is in Zone 8b-9a. The low temps are not that low, like you and I think of. The tree won't be frozen- it will get some twenties, maybe on an exceptionally cold night in the teens, the days will be 40's-50's plus most of the time. The wind is probably the killer in desert.

well then, just set it on the ground in a spot protected from the wind.  you don't need to do anything more.

I just placed mine on the ground and mulched up to the rim of the wooden box.  I didn't bury it, is that ok?

yes, that's fine, though covering the pot/soil surface helps.  its just extra insulation.  ponderosa are tolerant of extreme low temps with little protection.
 

Chrisl

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Re: Root Freeze
« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2011, 10:15 AM »
Thanks Don!  I'll add some to the surface as well then.
Chris
 

mcpesq817

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Re: Root Freeze
« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2011, 12:11 PM »
Don, he is in Zone 8b-9a. The low temps are not that low, like you and I think of. The tree won't be frozen- it will get some twenties, maybe on an exceptionally cold night in the teens, the days will be 40's-50's plus most of the time. The wind is probably the killer in desert.

That's what I was thinking as well.  I live in zone 7, and I generally leave my ponderosas out on my benches for most of the winter (in a spot where they generally have a decent amount of wind protection).  On very cold days, I'll sometimes bring them into my detached unheated garage with my other trees, but otherwise, they seem to be quite fine outside for the winter.  

I'd put them on the ground, but I'm worried about rabbits, chipmunks and other varmints nibbling them.  I have a few trees in the ground that I'm growing out, and the damn critters love to chew off the bark and low hanging branches.  

If you do leave your ponderosas outside, I've found that the needles take on more of a grayish hue which could be disconcerting if you're not expecting that.  They end up greening up quite nicely once spring rolls around.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2011, 12:13 PM by mcpesq817 »
 

Chrisl

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Re: Root Freeze
« Reply #12 on: December 08, 2011, 12:33 PM »
When I put them on the ground, I have them in an area that I put a welded mesh wire around the perimeter.  Well spent $40/50ft.
 

mcpesq817

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Re: Root Freeze
« Reply #13 on: December 08, 2011, 02:28 PM »
When I put them on the ground, I have them in an area that I put a welded mesh wire around the perimeter.  Well spent $40/50ft.

I've been thinking about doing that too - that's well worth the money.
 

Treebeard55

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Re: Root Freeze
« Reply #14 on: February 01, 2012, 02:25 PM »
My hardy trees (including ponderosas) are under a home-made shelter, 8'x4'x3' and covered with a "spun-bonded" row-cover type of fabric. I've got 8-10 cans of mothballs scattered inside, with holes punched in the cans' sides to let the fumes out. That's enough mothballs that when I open the cover of the "rack," the smell of naphtha is noticeable, tho not overpowering.

This is the second winter I've used mothballs to keep critters away, and so far, the approach seems to be working just fine.  :)

Got the idea from Tom Brown.