Planting trees in containers

Credit: Flickr / leozaza

Q: I plan to put trees in containers on my deck. Can I transplant these small trees in my garden in the fall of the year and put them back in the containers in the spring.

That could be done, but it sounds like a lot of work. Are you thinking of doing this because you live in a zone at the edge of the tree’s hardiness? The rule of thumb is that for a plant to be reliably hardy in a container, it should be two zones hardier. For example, in zone 8, a zone 6 plant would be completely hardy. A zone 8 plant, on the other hand, would be OK most years, but in a cold winter you might lose it.

If winter protection is your goal, you certainly could tuck the plant into the ground. However you might wish to consider planting the tree in the ground in a black plastic pot and slipping that inside the more decorative container that you have on your deck. In this way, the roots would not be disturbed each time you move the tree.