How to grow a tree inside over winter?
September 30, 2007 8:26 PM   Subscribe

How to buy a tree, raise it inside, and plant it with my grandmother in the springtime in memory of my grandfather?

1.Is this possible? We have minimal sunlight and this will be durring the wintertime.

2. Is this affordable? I don't want/need a full size tree, the smaller the better!

3. How would I go about finding said tree and info about growing it inside?

I think a Sassafrass sounds the best. Native to North America and specifically our region, can be in most soil types, smells amazing and is partial shade.

I've seen tree kits ranging from $8 to $40, so I'm not sure which is best. I've also seen trees in test tubes you keep in the fridge but I would have to buy 25( Arbor Day Foundation), and trees that are only 2-3 feet tall ( Arbor Day again). I'm just not sure where to start for what I want to do.
posted by Etta Hollis to Home & Garden (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Try your local home and garden center. But, do you have to buy it now? Can you wait and buy it when you're ready to plant? (that would increase your chances of a successful transpant)
posted by amyms at 8:35 PM on September 30, 2007

Seems like it would be easier and better to buy it when you're ready to plant it.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 9:19 PM on September 30, 2007

amyms is right about the tree being a more successful transplant if you buy it at the time of transplanting. indoor plants have to be slowly acclimated to outdoors conditions. Trees need a lot of sunlight (generally speaking), more than most indoor situations can provide. Outdoor plants also are not fond of the lack of humidity indoors, and tend to be prone to all sorts of pests that have no natural predators inside.
posted by oneirodynia at 9:31 PM on September 30, 2007

Agreed with the above...I would think this would be so much simpler if you waited til spring.
posted by mmascolino at 9:33 PM on September 30, 2007

If it's a deciduous tree, like a sassafras tree, you won't want to keep it inside during the winter. It will do very poorly at best if it doesn't get a chance to go into its dormant period.
posted by 517 at 9:43 PM on September 30, 2007

Agree with all above, Sassafras is a deciduous tree with super fall color. Deer love to eat this tree. In our latitude (upstate NY) it's tough to get going. I've planted several with high hopes, and they all end up wasted. I think it's a more temperate plant as in climatic zone, closer to 5-6 than 4-5 It's one of the most difficult trees to start from a container to boot.
The indoors thing is what's hanging this up...How about instead, go to a local nursery NOT lowes/home depot, buy a container grown tree (oak, maple, birch, etc) that's small enough to wheel around and tend to it this fall as you would a newly planted tree (water it, etc.) let it go dormant and do it's thing all winter , and BEFORE the buds break in the spring go plant it. no problems.
Just shelter it a bit this winter in your garage, or somewhere to keep it out of the wind, and keep it watered if you don't get down past freezing - or if you freeze better yet. Ask your nurseryman what he reccomends, stay away from home Depot/lowes.
posted by greenskpr at 3:37 AM on October 1, 2007

I'm very fond of sassafras as it is a food plant for several butterflies and moths, but do you really buy it? Where I grew up (New Jersey), it was a weed.

You might also consider buying a tree from Fedco. Besides being super people, they have a very nice selection and sell plants that tend to grow well in Maine. If you have similar or warmer climate, it will do well where you are. They ship in April, at planting time.
posted by plinth at 7:48 AM on October 1, 2007

Acording to this site among others, right now (late summer/early fall) is the best time to plant a tree, with spring being the second best time. Fall planting allows the roots to grow over the dormant winter months in preparation for spring growth. So you might want to go ahead and plant now. A local garden shop is a good place to go for advice and selection, as is your county extension agent.
posted by TedW at 8:55 AM on October 1, 2007

Oops, this site.
posted by TedW at 8:56 AM on October 1, 2007

A Japanese maple is a good small tree, and they come in all shapes and colours. Nthing the advice about raising it outdoors, though.
posted by Pallas Athena at 4:25 PM on October 1, 2007

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