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I Have Three White Pine Trees That I Have Not…

Leslie Asked

I have three white pine trees that I have not planted. Can I over-winter them in their 5-gallon pots outside against the house, in the garage, or in the basement? I also have three boxwoods that I have not planted.

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The Gardener’s Answer

Hi, Leslie: It is certainly not too late to plant your evergreens. In fact, is a great time to get them in the ground. We can plant evergreens throughout the year as long as the ground is not frozen. Fall planting is ideal but if this is not feasible, keeping them in their nursery pots and over-wintering them outdoors is the next best option. They will need to be protected from the winter weather and insulating them is a good idea. Group them together, close to the house, so they will benefit from the radiant heat. Putting bales of pine straw or bags of mulch around them will help to insulate them. They do go dormant but if Mother Nature does not provide moisture they will need to be hand watered every couple of weeks. We do not want to over water them but if they are under cover and not exposed to potential rain or snow, hand watering will be necessary. Another option is planting them in the ground in their nursery pots. This will still require digging a large hole but this will help insulate the evergreens and keep the soil at a more consistent temperature. Then in the spring you can lift them from the soil, remove them from their pots, and plant them. Bringing them indoors is not a good option. They need to go through their dormancy period and the temperatures indoors will not allow for this.

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