The Q&A Archives: cold winter japanese maples - container planting

Question: Hi, New to subject - container japanese maples my questions are I live in northen ohio. Can I move containers into unheated garage when temps. are 15 degrees for extended periods ? Trees are rated to zone 5 but that is for landscape planting.Also trees are planted in clay pots will they crack ? should I use plastic ? I have read ideal temps. for container trees is 15 to 45 degrees ? Thank you -- gary

Answer: Your clay containers may well crack or crumble if they freeze, so you want to keep them above 32 degrees Fahrenheit. The tree's roots will also be healthier if the soil temperature is above freezing. You want the tree to rest for the winter so keep it outside until late fall, bring it in for the worst of the weather and take it back outside again in early spring so it can wake up naturally with the season. A maximum winter temperature in this situation would be in the 40 degree range. Keep the soil just barely damp while it is indoors, not bone dry and never wet. Good luck!

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