Ask a Question forum: Frost After Two Weeks After Planting Trees

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Clarion, PA (Zone 5b)
Region: Pennsylvania
Mar 6, 2018 4:56 PM CST
I'm sorry if this has been asked before; I couldn't find much after searching the website in regards to this specific problem.

We jumped the gun a little on spring and during a week of 60ish degree weather, went out and gleefully bought some fruit trees/sticks and tiny chickens. The chickens are happily peeping away under a heat lamp, but the trees have been planted for two weeks and now it's so frozen again that little columns of ice are coming up everywhere.

I know they need to be watered pretty regularly when they're new, but considering the ground is now frozen, I worry about giving them temperature shock if I were to pour on water warm enough to melt its way through to what tiny roots await. But if I don't, they'll get transplant shock right? It's not due to be above 40 for at least a week, and every night is predicted to be below 35 for the coming week.

If it matters, the trees in question are an apple tree, a cherry tree, a pecan tree, a fig shrub, and a chestnut tree.

N.B.: I now have the freeze dates and planting dates for my area from the "Tools & Apps" section. I really should have referenced that first.
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Mar 6, 2018 5:07 PM CST

As your trees haven't started to bud out yet, they will be fine. Don't worry about water if the ground is frozen. If they were well hydrated before the ground froze, they will be okay for now. I'm assuming the fig is one of the freeze hardy types like Brown Turkey.
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

Clarion, PA (Zone 5b)
Region: Pennsylvania
Mar 6, 2018 8:21 PM CST
DaisyI said:I'm assuming the fig is one of the freeze hardy types like Brown Turkey.

Yes, I made sure to get freeze hardy fig (I was so happy to learn that even existed!). Thank you for the reassurance! I'll keep an eye on them and resume watering once everything thaws. 😁

Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
Mar 7, 2018 5:48 AM CST
As Daisy said, as long as they don't have leaves they should be fine. Even if they do it's not extremely cold. It's when a plant has leaves and when it's warm that it needs the most water. But next spring in your zone you may find that the fig died back at least partially there in zone 5 but will hopefully start again from near the base. You might want to look into protecting it for next winter.
Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
Mar 7, 2018 10:27 AM CST
Sounds like your having prolonged freezing temperatures, since your ground is frozen.
Being so young, plus ground frozen, I would, for precautionary measures, wrap trees with a few layers of old sheets, rags, or something.
It doesn't matter if rags get wet and freeze. Ownce rags are frozen, the temperature inside won't get colder that 32 degrees.
Next year, I doubt, but not sure they'll need any protect. Really depends how much they grow this year.
Ttfn Partners 👍
Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Mar 7, 2018 10:29 AM CST
I found out the hard way to never buy trees too early in the spring, before the other trees are budded out. Most places give a one year guarantee on trees. However, it is difficult to determine or prove that the tree is dead the following spring, because it isn't time for it to be budded out anyway, and therefore they will refuse to refund your money if it is dead. That is how it went for me.
Clarion, PA (Zone 5b)
Region: Pennsylvania
Mar 9, 2018 4:05 PM CST
Thank you everyone for all of your advice! 😁 It certainly seems I have quite a lot to learn still, and I'm grateful to have such a great group of teachers.

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