What to do with too early delivery?

I was notified that my new persimmon is arriving in 3 days. It is 10F outside, and really freezing nights are expected for at least another week or two. Even if I will be able to dig the hole, I am not sure the young tree will survive this cold without protection. And I have no way to build it a dome in the next tree days when ground is snow covered… So what do I do? I can plant it in the pot, but what to do with the pot? The temperature in my garage is almost 70F thanks to our beloved boiler, but amount of light is not enough for vegetation that will appear soon with that temperature. Inside the house is same story. All sunny windows already occupied by veggie starters… I am puzzled…

When it happened to me, I opened the box to see how the trees looked and if the roots were moist. I t left the trees in the box, taped it back, left it in the section of mt unheated basement, in the dark. The temp there is around 40’s ( could be lower but never freeze). I checked the roots for moisture a couple of times.

I planted them a month later in mid April. No issue.

I know many poeple plant much earlier in snow, sleet, etc. I just don’t like digging through frozen soil. If you don’t have a cool place like mine, I think as long as the roots are not dry, you can keep the tree in the box for a week (in a relatively cool place) and plant it later after the snow this Tues.

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Yeah, this is my problem. No basement, heated garage, only place with 40F is my refrigerator, but I ordered “premium” tree, so it should be like 4’ tall. I am thinking about making heated box on my deck, to keep temperature around 40, but not sure yet, what to use for heating - I have heated dog mat, but it can be not enough, and regular heater, but it can be too much. Need to experiment.

I did the same thing as mamuang a couple years ago except I kept it in my garage and it was fine.

Any chance you can do that, or maybe even put the tree in a big pot with some soil and keep it in a protected spot?

Oops. I was writing my reply when you posted about your heated garage.

How about a neighbor?

Actually, that may be exactly what I should do. One of my neighbor has pretty old house, they may have right spot to store my box. Thanks for suggestion!

Persimmons are late to leaf out. So I’d be less concerned than most other things about it breaking dormancy in the next month. Keep it moist, find a cool spot, and hope for the best.


I heel my bare root trees into a 5:1:1 potting mix until the ground thaws and I can plant. It’s worked fine for me.


And just kept them outside? How cold it was?

Mine are in the garage which is unheated.

The nectarine delivered this week was already leafing out, which put a stop to my plans to plant it during the current dry spell - temps predicted next week in low teens.

It’s now in a pot on my sun porch with the citrus, where the heater keeps it above 40


What was the lowest temp of your garage when you stored your tree that way? I think that’s the key, how low and how long?

They are currently being stored like that. The garage temp right now is 37.

Galina is half a zone colder than me, 5b. Our unheated garage can be below freezing several times each winter.

At what temp do you think they would get damaged? I can see them getting damaged if the roots weren’t protected but if they are heeled into soil I’d think they could handle much lower temps. Would not be much different them being planted outside would it? I’m certainly no expert so I can’t be sure but seems like they could handle a bit colder temps.

I think it’s the combination of below freezing temp for a prolonged period of time would cause damage even in a garage. In your situation, the tree roots are well covered and they are in garage protected from rain/snow. More importantly, your garage temp is not as low as ours.

When you plant a tree out in soil in freezing temp, you run a risk of roots frozen out before they could establish. If I were to plant in such a condition, I would tamp the soil well and mulch heavily to protect the roots.


Do you have an access door to the attic? Especially if it is an older house, there might be enough heat loss through the insulation to keep it from freezing but still be cold. Maybe.

Edit → The more I think about it, I’ve seen frost in my attic quite a bit, maybe this isn’t a good idea.

That was my second idea… But then I realize, that in day time it is an oven there, even in winter. The sun is pretty strong already, so I ruled attic out of options. I wish I have unheated basement.