I have grown several (small) trees, native to western Europe, from seed. (Oak, Pine, Chestnut, Walnut, Plum, Maple, Beech, etc). I have had the fortune of having some space in the garden where I could grow them and let them "overwinter" outside; however soon I will be moving to an apartment, and I won't have any outside space anymore.

While doing some research I read, that plants from this region, need a cold period in winter to grow successfully.

Would it be sufficient to leave them in a separate room with the windows open, to allow them to experience some colder temperatures. Or will I have to resort to more extreme measures?

Also, I have already determined that I will probably need grow lights and will have to control the humidity, because I have read that I will have to keep the humidity at around 50-60%. Are there other factors that I need to consider?

Another thing I was considering was getting a grow-tent and using that to circulate outside air around the plants.

Any tips or feedback would be much appreciated!

  • 1
    I'm assuming that you do not have a balcony in the new apartment - is this correct?
    – Jurp
    Jan 19, 2023 at 23:51
  • Note that all of these trees shed their leaves in autumn, so grow lights would only be helpful during the months with leaves, e.g. to compensate for low light levels.
    – Stephie
    Jan 20, 2023 at 15:50
  • @Jurp I won't have a balcony or any other type of outside space... And this is what led me down this question. Jan 21, 2023 at 6:26
  • @Stephie My goal would be to try and recreate the outside environment as much as possible. Meaning I would put the lights on a timer, to create a "night" etc Jan 21, 2023 at 6:27
  • If I recall my bio class, those trees don't need cold per se, but they need seasons, which they detect through the amount of sunlight, not temperature. A few "warm winters" shouldn't kill them if you're not forever living in the apt. It's when they get big that cold can come into play regulating hormones and non-growth systems, like producing maple syrup for example.
    – dandavis
    Jan 22, 2023 at 10:35

1 Answer 1


According to this site woody trees in the Northern Hemisphere need

Not all hours above freezing are equal. Temperatures between 40 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit (5 to 10 degrees Celsius) are most effective

It seems unlikely you would keep a room at that temperature as pipes could freeze. What I can't tell you is what are the effects of not getting enough cold days.

The other thing to consider is that requirements for cold dormancy can vary within a species. An oak grown in a warmer climate has less need for cold days than one grown in Norway. You could restart your collection with the same species but ones that were grown in warmer temperatures.

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