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I'm growing apple trees. They have been growing for 4 years. I didn’t have a problem with overwintering them since they were in small pots. Now they are in huge plastic ones. Also the weather has a incoming cold snap. For now I have covered them up with bubble wrap and package envelopes. Should I bring them in the garage and put them under a grow light?

Here are some details. They still have leaves but only one has grown a branch. Also one is very tall. And the oldest one I recovered and pruned from being underwater and fungus ridden so its very short. Any ideas or am I worrying? Also all the seedlings have trunks or thick stems. Heres a photo of the tall one that I covered badly enter image description here

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  • 2
    What have you done the previous three winters?
    – Stephie
    Oct 29, 2023 at 4:36
  • 1
    Did you know that apple seedlings from pips do not produce fruit like the apple they came from?
    – kevinskio
    Oct 29, 2023 at 12:44
  • Where on the planet?
    – Ecnerwal
    Oct 29, 2023 at 16:15
  • A 4-year-old sapling is not a seedling. Oct 30, 2023 at 22:39

1 Answer 1

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Do you live in the arctic or anarctic? Do you live above treeline?

If the answer is "no" you should preferably plant the trees in the ground where they will live (fall is a good time, spring is an OK time, so which side of the equator is not a big deal) or plunge (bury) the pots in the ground and leave the trees out - depending on your local vermin, some sort of wire mesh protection sleeve is all the trees might require to prevent nibbling by deer and mice/voles/rats/rabbits (bubble wrap is likely to promote problems with mildew & fungus.)

They will (if not eaten) survive the winter, in most locations with some reasonable winter. You should not bring them into the garage under grow lights - they are trees, they expect to spend the winter being dormant, let them do that.

Apple trees are quite cold tolerant. Indeed, they typically require a fair bit of cold exposure to set fruit. USDA plant hardiness Zone 3 (-40°F/-40°C minimum temperature) is perfectly fine for most apples. Some varieties will take even colder temperatures.

They are not typically a great choice for a potted plant, as they would appreciate room to grow and become actual trees.

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  • Extremely hardy from birth. Oct 30, 2023 at 14:18

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