Potted trees, hot roots?

I’ll be growing a lot of trees in pots this year until I get some more fencing in. I know in the past my apple trees in pots didn’t like getting their feet warmed in the sun. Are cherries, plums, apricots, and peaches likewise unhappy with getting their roots too warm? I recall someone mentioning mulching around the pot, but I don’t know if that was for a particular fruit type or for everything. Would it be sufficient to just provide a shade on the container?

I use reflecting foam insulation wrapped around pot and on top of it . It helps.

I’d be interested in hearing more about this. Since most nursery pots are black, and nearly every store-bought tree I’ve seen comes in a black pot, I’ve never even considered this as an issue. My grafts in pots sit in direct sun all summer long (10+ hours at least) and I haven’t noted any particular issues.

You learn something every day I guess!

Any kind of shade will keep the pot cool enough, IME. I’ve also covered pots with aluminum foil or did pot in pot. I just set up a pot in pot 5 minutes ago.

Often just changing the color from black to white is adequate, but south-side roots do tend to get burned with all species. The silver bubble wrap is the cheapest, easiest solution- but an eyesore.

In my nursery, pots are placed 2/3rd in the ground and mulched, but not everyone has ground to spare. If you do, that is the best solution- even to let roots grow out of pots during the season and snap them off when bringing pots to shelter. You’ll be able to grow bigger, healthier trees this way and the annual root pruning will likely be an asset to fruitfulness.


Thanks Galina, Steven, & Alan. I think I’d better work at some heat defense this summer.


I have a ton of potted trees…mostly 15 gallon, some 7 and a few in 25 gallon. Mine sit on a scorching hot sun filled driveway all summer (no shade)…and they seem to do fine. I do water a lot during the really hot weather. I do pack mine tight together to sort of insulate some of them in the middle. In the future i think i’ll switch over to grow bags because i think they might work better…

The mix itself insulates, the problem is the insulating part gets too hot for roots to survive, so your 15 gallon pot is probably functioning something like a 10 gallon pot. That’s a total guess, of course.

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I put my pots in a close formation (so they partially shade each other) and protect them with white cardboard along the perimeter.

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