Should I still Plant Fruit Trees in the ground in Dec in Virginia


The ground is still workable (not frozen) in Virginia today Dec 18, 2017. I am expecting some dormant bareroot trees should I place them in pots and place them in the garage and wait until spring to plant them… Can I plant them in the ground now. Thanks for your help.

I’d say plant them now. There are several things I hope to find time to plant and transplant this week.


UGA recommends putting them in ground in winter as long as ground isn’t frozen. I’m in same boat will do winter planting.

Who is shipping you bareroot trees in Dec?

I would say, yes, plant away. I’ve planted apples and sour cherries before in the fall/ early winter with no problems. Im in Arlington, VA and I’ll be moving a replacement apple tree into a place where one died. I may not get to it until January, but I’m sure it will be fine.

This does assume you are planting hearty types. If you are putting in figs, pomegranates or some of the more tender persimmons for instance, you might want to think about putting them in a pot and keeping them more protected since anything less hardy will be even moreso if it hasn’t rooted in already.

Thanks. Ison’s Nursery and Vineyards. Four trees and muscadines. They may wait until Jan. 2018


Hi, I am not that far from you in Stafford VA. I do plan to place some figs in the ground but I am waiting until mid to late April 2018.One of the trees I may be planting now is a Quince. I understand that it may get FB but wanted to try it. I do have a Fuyu persimmon that I wanted to plant. Do you think I should hold off. Thanks again.


My neighbor planted a few Quince and so far they have been okay, so hopefully yours will avoid FB as well.

Yes, waiting for the fig make sense. In terms of the Fuyu, I think they are a bit tougher than some so may be okay, but I can’t really speak to those from my own experience. Hopefully someone else like @Matt_in_Maryland or others in our area can make a suggestion.

Of course if we have a winter like last year, that will help, but if it is more like 3 years ago…

What I do is to cover the area with a tarp, black side up a week or so before planting. This conserves ground heat, adds a little solar warmth, and keeps the area dry and easier to work.
I have more asparagus coming in January and some figs to plant out. This makes it easier.

Put all the trees in the ground now.

Plant the figs in the spring.

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The fall shipment time to us for bigger nurseries Cummins and Starks is usually late November. Got my shipment from Cummins this year the week after thanksgiving which is normal for them. Some other smaller nurseries that are not up north like Isons, Century Farm will ship other times during the fall/winter when the temps are not a good bit below freezing.

I find November, December to be the ideal time for planting bare root trees. The ground rarely freezes around here for more than a few days.

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Albermarle Ciderworks (Near Charlottesville) which sell bareroot plants starting in middle of November recommends planting bareroot trees anytime between November and March as long as the ground is not frozen. Last year I planted a Black Heart Cherry Tree in December with no issues from Albermarle, tree lived and grew fine this year.

Albermarle Ciderworks sells Apple, Cherry, Pear and Peach trees. May not apply to other trees or vines.

I am located in Lynchburg, Va and planted two Muscadine grapes about 2 - 3 weeks ago from Ison’. I just put a lot of mulch around the vines, when spring comes I will remove the mulch that directly touches the vine (six inches out).

Are you sure Ison is shipping this late - I thought the next time they shipped was starting in January? I just placed another order with them for a peach tree, I did not think it would ship until January or later.

Ok. Thanks.

Matt. Thanks.


I did check and you are correct Ison will not ship until January. I have been adding to my order over the last several weeks. I do have several trees that I could plant now. I received a goldrush, redhaven peach and a spring stain plumcot from Starks that I could plant now. I have not been to Albermarle Ciderworks. Is it a good place to go to? I appreciate your comments.

When I picked up my tree from Apple Cider Works I did not have time to visit. They have what looked like a very nice area to drink cider and I believe a restaurant.

You have to order your trees in advance and they have them ready in a cooler when you come to pick them up. As far as I know you cannot pick and choose varieties when you come.

Edible Landscaping is 30 minutes away. They are worth visiting when they get there spring tree shipments in. I think this is usually in April but you need to call them to confirm. If they do not have there spring shipment in you will waste your time. Be sure you bring a truck as they sell potted trees.

I plant everything when it comes, unless its cold-sensitive like figs or pomegranates.

If the ground is frozen I get out a pick. Its not frozen that far down in our climate, the roots will be in non-frozen soil.


I also plant during the winter months but I think it is very important to do a good job watering the roots to avoid air pockets.


Thanks…I have been to EL. I have actually purchased several trees from them. I appreciate the info.