Post a reply

Avatar for ceriano
Jan 1, 2022 4:50 AM CST
Thread OP
Richmond, VA (Zone 7a)
I picked up a Vulcan magnolia yesterday. I have never seen one of these one at our local nursery so I had to pick it up! Is it ok to plant these in winter? The temperature is currently in the 70s but it is supposed to drop to sub freezing on Monday. I appreciate everyones input.
Image
Jan 1, 2022 6:58 AM CST
Name: Big Bill
Livonia Michigan (Zone 6a)
If you need to relax, grow plants!!
Bee Lover Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Orchids Region: Michigan Hostas Growing under artificial light
Echinacea Critters Allowed Cat Lover Butterflies Birds Region: United States of America
I would not, no. When transplanting trees and shrubs, I do most of that either in mid Fall or early Spring. They need to be given time to acclimate after transplanting. These things go dormant for the winter and stop growing. No leaves, no root growth, nothing.
It is time to leave things alone.
In mid winter, mid December through February, I don't think that you could pick a worse time. The hottest part of Summer would be an equally bad time.

As days get warmer and longer in the Spring, that's the time to plant.
Orchid lecturer, teacher and judge. Retired Wildlife Biologist. Supervisor of a nature preserve up until I retired.
Image
Jan 1, 2022 7:56 AM CST
Name: Sally
central Maryland (Zone 7b)
See you in the funny papers!
Charter ATP Member Frogs and Toads Houseplants Keeper of Poultry Vegetable Grower Region: Maryland
Composter Native Plants and Wildflowers Organic Gardener Region: United States of America Cat Lover Birds
Respectfully, I think the question is "I have a tree in a pot, in zone 7 or maybe 8, what best to do with it now?

Leaving it in the pot means the pot is more exposed to changing temps.
I would plant it.
Plant it and they will come.
Image
Jan 1, 2022 8:00 AM CST
Name: Sally
central Maryland (Zone 7b)
See you in the funny papers!
Charter ATP Member Frogs and Toads Houseplants Keeper of Poultry Vegetable Grower Region: Maryland
Composter Native Plants and Wildflowers Organic Gardener Region: United States of America Cat Lover Birds
That is a deciduous. Plant and water, mulch around but don't pile mulch on the trunk.
Plant it and they will come.
Image
Jan 1, 2022 8:08 AM CST
Name: Big Bill
Livonia Michigan (Zone 6a)
If you need to relax, grow plants!!
Bee Lover Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Orchids Region: Michigan Hostas Growing under artificial light
Echinacea Critters Allowed Cat Lover Butterflies Birds Region: United States of America
sallyg, that is reading quite a bit into a question where none of that was stated but okay, that's fine.

You would plant it. I would not have purchased it.
Orchid lecturer, teacher and judge. Retired Wildlife Biologist. Supervisor of a nature preserve up until I retired.
Image
Jan 1, 2022 8:49 AM CST
Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Plant Identifier
Thank you sally g...
Michigan is so different from the south that those responses are always difficult to reconcile...

If above tree is planted now, it will have a little time to develop roots before the ground freezes.

If the tree is left un-planted... you would need to plan how you were going to avoid the damaging effects of freezing temps... IE; place in garage or something.

In the South, planting trees is done in the autumn / Early winter... That's just common sense.

When the trees have all winter to grow roots, they're better prepared for putting on top growth in the Spring.

Up in the far north, trees aren't planted until spring after the soil thaws.
Image
Jan 1, 2022 9:41 AM CST
Name: Sally
central Maryland (Zone 7b)
See you in the funny papers!
Charter ATP Member Frogs and Toads Houseplants Keeper of Poultry Vegetable Grower Region: Maryland
Composter Native Plants and Wildflowers Organic Gardener Region: United States of America Cat Lover Birds
Smiling Interpretation. Part of why written brief comments can be more challenging than live conversation.

We may take this as the subject question, which Bill and Stone responded to very well, or the further details. (tree is bought, now what?)

Would anyone want this particular tree just sunk in the existing pot till spring?
I also do not expect the roots to grow now. I just want them to be in more stable happy temps and not dry out.

It's all good! Smiling Forum questions are rarely answered in one go Smiling
Plant it and they will come.
Image
Jan 1, 2022 9:44 AM CST
Name: John
Scott County, KY (Zone 5b)
You can't have too many viburnums..
Region: United States of America Region: Kentucky Farmer Cat Lover Birds Bee Lover
Butterflies Enjoys or suffers hot summers Enjoys or suffers cold winters Dog Lover Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
ceriano could keep the containerized Magnolia in an unheated garage for a few days until a more conducive/stable stretch of weather arrives.

A good investment of time would be preparing the planting hole ahead of time. Magnolias have big fleshy roots, compared to many other plants. The deciduous types (especially a complex hybrid like 'Vulcan') detest standing water around their roots. Ensure that your planting site is well drained for good long term performance. Have loose friable dry soil for backfilling around the roots of the plant, so that when watering in you will achieve excellent soil/root contact, and water in to settle the soil and reduce/eliminate air pockets. All too often, winter planting involves wet clumpy soil - and that is not a good prescription for success.

In Richmond VA, where I suspect the soil seldom freezes and if this plant will be in a full sun position, it will make some new root growth through the winter months. I would make sure that the roots are all spread out - especially if they appear to be circling within the container media. Mulch well as noted previously; this should help keep the soil temperature relatively constant, rather than cycling warmer and colder with ambient air temperatures.

Others have noted here: it is a very different exercise to be planting "late" in northerly climes than it is to plant in balmy southern growing zones.
Image
Jan 1, 2022 10:07 AM CST
Name: John
Scott County, KY (Zone 5b)
You can't have too many viburnums..
Region: United States of America Region: Kentucky Farmer Cat Lover Birds Bee Lover
Butterflies Enjoys or suffers hot summers Enjoys or suffers cold winters Dog Lover Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
sallyg and I cross-posted, but it's all good.

I also believe in peeling back the onion layers, when looking at the original post. If the question comes from a known participant on the forum, the form of the reply will be quite different than how one might comment to someone new or unknown. Regardless, it is always prudent to examine how much is known about where the question arises. This same question asked by someone from gardening in bleak MN or northern IL should be assessed quite differently (as BigBill notes) versus someone gardening in gentler environs like Richmond VA, or most all GA (as stone notes).

As sallyg has also observed, there is more than one way to skin this cat. Does the questioner have the permanent planting site selected, or was this an impulse buy the consequences of which were only appreciated once unloading at home, after self-high-fiving for such a shrewd acquisition? I know that when the several hundred bare root plants have arrived from a northern Illinois grower in mid/late April ('cause that's when their ground thaws), I am often caught unprepared while enjoying all my leafed out and blooming collections - and now I have a bunch of dormant plants that need immediate attention.

So. Certainly, the container could be sunk in the ground for the time being while other decisions are being made - with a few conditions needing to be met. Container media behaves much differently than soil, so it could be a reservoir of water not draining well into surrounding soils - which may mean death for this species. Alternatively, if moisture is not sufficient, the poor thing could freeze-dry in winter months. Many gardeners put away their tools for the winter, so keeping a hose handy to add water occasionally is a stretch to assume. Also, "out of sight, out of mind" is more likely if the pot is sunk for the winter.

I would lean toward planting, all things considered, as a first choice. Second would be keeping it in an unheated garage, where it will be more likely noticed and minimally maintained till late winter/early spring planting weather. Third would be sinking the pot in the ground, but in a convenient place to give minimal attention through the winter - and put it in a north-facing position to minimize the temperature fluctuations.
Image
Jan 1, 2022 11:21 AM CST
Name: Lee-Roy
Bilzen, Belgium (Zone 8a)
Region: Belgium Composter Region: Europe Ferns Hostas Irises
Lilies Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
Plants in pots can be planted in full ground year round provided the soil isn't either frozen or waterlogged.

Bareroot trees and shrubs are planted in the dormant season (late fall to early spring).

In your case, as I said as long as the ground isn't frozen/waterlogged, you can plant. I'd bareroot (root wash) your tree though since that is better practice for long term survival. Mulching thickly afterwards protects the roots from temperature fluctuations.

And yes, roots DO grow through winter albeit slowly; they're not hardy.
Image
Jan 1, 2022 11:22 AM CST
Name: Sally
central Maryland (Zone 7b)
See you in the funny papers!
Charter ATP Member Frogs and Toads Houseplants Keeper of Poultry Vegetable Grower Region: Maryland
Composter Native Plants and Wildflowers Organic Gardener Region: United States of America Cat Lover Birds
and this (reading these discussions) is how I have learned a lot without formal education in horticulture (beyond HORT 101 which was the one fun class my advisor suggested first semester of college.)

thanks VV
Plant it and they will come.
Image
Jan 1, 2022 12:10 PM CST
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Welcome!

I agree with John.... Where is the tree right now? If the tree has been outside, it is acclimated to the weather and if its hardy in your zone, it shouldn't matter when you plant. When freezing weather is forecast, its not the top of the tree that needs protecting, its the root zone. The best way to protect roots are if they are in the ground. Water well. Dry roots are easily damaged by cold.

But why plant a pot? Take it out of the pot and plant it. Trees do a lot of growing in the months we think they are doing nothing.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org
Avatar for ceriano
Jan 1, 2022 2:48 PM CST
Thread OP
Richmond, VA (Zone 7a)
Thank you all! I went ahead planted it. So far we had a very mild winter. My grass is still green and growing and today is in 70s!
The tree came potted and was sitting outside. Like many trees this year it has started breaking buds due to crazy temps. I dug a hole 4ft wide and same depth as the pot and put some compost mix with the soil in the bottom to lift it some. I mixed the soil with leafgro, manure and biotone and applied about 2" of mulch. My soil is heavy clay so I typically plant trees in mound style 2"-4" above grade. Hopefully she makes it!




Thumb of 2022-01-01/ceriano/a253f9
Thumb of 2022-01-01/ceriano/a6b4e8
Thumb of 2022-01-01/ceriano/6bb8ce
Thumb of 2022-01-01/ceriano/428818
Thumb of 2022-01-01/ceriano/127f00


Thumb of 2022-01-01/ceriano/5d733a
Last edited by ceriano Jan 1, 2022 3:12 PM Icon for preview
Image
Jan 1, 2022 3:20 PM CST
Name: Lee-Roy
Bilzen, Belgium (Zone 8a)
Region: Belgium Composter Region: Europe Ferns Hostas Irises
Lilies Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
You should've barerooted like I suggested.

First: the tree is still planted too high as potted/b&b trees and shrubs usually are (nurseries NEVER get it right) and people assume that is the correct depth. The trunk needs to taper out before reaching the soil level.

Second: NEVER amend the planting hole with anything. No fertellizer or (in)organic matter; only the native soil. Garden soils are rarely deficient in anything but nitrogen, which in and of itself is prone to rapid fluctuations and remedied easily.
Organic matter will decompose over time and make the tree sink even deeper or leave a bowl shape around the trunk which collects water which is a no no.
Also, the textural soil difference you create impedes water movement causing either waterlogging or drought stress.

Third: staked way too high and tightly (+ the rubber is pulling at a branch collar which might tear the banch right off). The lower you stake, the better and not at all is gold. I think yours doesn't even need it. If you do want to, I'd say no higher than 2ft from the base and no longer than one growing season. You want to support it in heavy wind from uprooting, not keep it in a restraining jacket. The top needs to move in the wind to stimulate that taper and root growth.

The thing you did do right is mulching. Coarse woody material is best, but anything is better than nothing to keep out competition.

Anyway, the choise is yours to take a chance or to start over now that it's still easy to take out.
Image
Jan 1, 2022 3:42 PM CST
Name: PotterK
Seattle, WA
I was a professional tree planter in the clear cuts west of the Cascade Mountain Range.

We planted mostly two-year old bare root Douglas-fir seedlings. Those jobs always atarted late winter at the lower elevations. At high elevations, we started as soon as the snow cleared off.

Between December and mid-February we sometimes get unexpected freezing wind storms from the arctic. The winds are harsh, cold and dry.

If a freshly transplanted tree which has just entered early dormancy is planted out prior to such an event, the tree's roots (not yet able to pull water because of transplant shock) do not pull the water fast enough. The dry winds suck out water, the water column snaps, and the tree dies.

So consider the generalization: the water must keep moving. If winter conditions interrupt the flow of water within the tree, the tree dies.

It helps that your tree is deciduous and not bare root.
Image
Jan 1, 2022 3:58 PM CST
Name: Lee-Roy
Bilzen, Belgium (Zone 8a)
Region: Belgium Composter Region: Europe Ferns Hostas Irises
Lilies Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
greenriverfs said:I was a professional tree planter in the clear cuts west of the Cascade Mountain Range.

We planted mostly two-year old bare root Douglas-fir seedlings. Those jobs always atarted late winter at the lower elevations. At high elevations, we started as soon as the snow cleared off.

Between December and mid-February we sometimes get unexpected freezing wind storms from the arctic. The winds are harsh, cold and dry.

If a freshly transplanted tree which has just entered early dormancy is planted out prior to such an event, the tree's roots (not yet able to pull water because of transplant shock) do not pull the water fast enough. The dry winds suck out water, the water column snaps, and the tree dies.

So consider the generalization: the water must keep moving. If winter conditions interrupt the flow of water within the tree, the tree dies.

It helps that your tree is deciduous and not bare root.



In case of evergreens, you are right. However, water transport in plants is mediated by the water potential which is a largely passive phenomenon.
Thus trees do not 'suck' water like you sipping your soda through a straw. So long as there is water available (thus not frozen) in the soil, it will move its way up the tissues.

Aside from that, trees will put out new roots to accomodate that water need by pulling reserves from their tissues. Because of this they're likely to 'suffer' the coming growing season, usually by growing not alot of leaves or very small ones. That's why the first year trees and shrubs need monitoring and adequate irrigation to lessen the stresses.

However, whether evergreen or deciduous, potted or b&b, ALL woody plants will benefit from planting bareroot. They'll be planted at the right depth and any root deformities can be pruned out so that a healthy root system will develop which in a few years down the line will most likely outgrow and outperform any conspecifics which did not get that treatment.
Avatar for ceriano
Jan 1, 2022 4:47 PM CST
Thread OP
Richmond, VA (Zone 7a)
Arico said:You should've barerooted like I suggested.

First: the tree is still planted too high as potted/b&b trees and shrubs usually are (nurseries NEVER get it right) and people assume that is the correct depth. The trunk needs to taper out before reaching the soil level.

Second: NEVER amend the planting hole with anything. No fertellizer or (in)organic matter; only the native soil. Garden soils are rarely deficient in anything but nitrogen, which in and of itself is prone to rapid fluctuations and remedied easily.
Organic matter will decompose over time and make the tree sink even deeper or leave a bowl shape around the trunk which collects water which is a no no.
Also, the textural soil difference you create impedes water movement causing either waterlogging or drought stress.

Third: staked way too high and tightly (+ the rubber is pulling at a branch collar which might tear the banch right off). The lower you stake, the better and not at all is gold. I think yours doesn't even need it. If you do want to, I'd say no higher than 2ft from the base and no longer than one growing season. You want to support it in heavy wind from uprooting, not keep it in a restraining jacket. The top needs to move in the wind to stimulate that taper and root growth.

The thing you did do right is mulching. Coarse woody material is best, but anything is better than nothing to keep out competition.

Anyway, the choise is yours to take a chance or to start over now that it's still easy to take out.


I scratched around the nebari/root flare and the depth seem fine to me but I'll double check again tomorrow. It was planted in very lose pine bark mix and I was able to knock off bunch of soil and untangle the roots before getting it in ground. I have done lot of bonsai and the roots seem healthy to me. No browning or dead roots.
Agreed on staking high, the tree was slanted I had no choice. That's the only way I could correct it. But you're absolutely right it's not a good idea to stake this high.
My soil is red clay. Here is the test sample I pulled in October. I have applied SOP and two rounds of starter this fall and of course lots of lime. I'll pull another sample in spring again see where I am.
I really don't know whats the best way to plant in heavy clay. It's not going to drain on its own and it's lacking organic matter, amending it can also create a water pool effect like you mentioned. I hope planting slightly high helps but I'm just taking a gamble I have no clue if it really works.

Thumb of 2022-01-01/ceriano/711e68
Image
Jan 1, 2022 5:05 PM CST
Name: Lee-Roy
Bilzen, Belgium (Zone 8a)
Region: Belgium Composter Region: Europe Ferns Hostas Irises
Lilies Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge)
Apart from the pH which is lower than I expected (especially for clay because they tend to be near the neutral or allkaline side) I don't expect much problems if you keep the area mulched. That said, Magnolia's should do just fine. If down the line you see no nutrient deficiency symptoms, don't do anything rash. Don't try to fix a problem when there isn't one.

Also, root defiencies goes beyond dead or browning though. Roots that circle, bend backwards, are growing into the trunk etc are all deformities that will create problems down the line.

Try this FB group: https://www.facebook.com/group...
Be warned though, this isn't your regular 'hi-and-welcome-have-a-seat-and-a-cookie-with-some-tea' kind of group. They can be nasty sometimes and are usually straight to the point with no time for bs (I love it - a nice change from the former kind).
Avatar for ceriano
Jan 1, 2022 6:05 PM CST
Thread OP
Richmond, VA (Zone 7a)
Thanks Lee-Roy will do. Just curious, Are these flower buds? Is this tree old enough to flower? I heard they need to be at least 5-8 years old to flower.
Thumb of 2022-01-02/ceriano/d26df3
Image
Jan 1, 2022 6:34 PM CST
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Ceriano, I think you did fine on the planting. Adding compost isn't usually advised as it slows the tree from exiting the planting hole. Why move out into the big bad world when its so cushy right here in this hole? But in poor draining clay soil, I think its your only option. Planting a couple inches above grade in poor draining soils is a good idea. As the soil settles, the tree will be lower. Fertilizer is the big mistake; trees don't need any in their first full year.

My big concern is with the weather. You are expecting temperatures in the 20's in the next few nights and your tree hasn't had a chance to establish. I can guarantee those new buds will be toast and it may be enough to kill the tree. I would wrap the trunk in tree wrap and throw a sheet over the rest.

Keep us posted.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

President: Orchid Society of Northern Nevada
Webmaster: osnnv.org

Only the members of the Members group may reply to this thread.
  • Started by: ceriano
  • Replies: 51, views: 1,540
Member Login:

( No account? Join now! )

Today's site banner is by Zoia and is called "Flag Iris"

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.