by Jay
(Martin, Ohio)

Hi, I live in Northwest ohio. I have 3 pear trees and 3 apple trees to plant they are about 6 feet tall. I purchased them through are local water and soil department.

My question is they said to get them in the ground right away but we are expecting a hard freeze tonight should I wait or put them in. Thanks, Jay

If they’re dormant (with no leaves on them) they won’t mind a frost, and planting them will protect them more than having them bareroot or in a pot.

Apple and pear trees are tough, and if the ground is thawed, you could go ahead and plant them.

Make absolutely sure that if they’re in pots, you cut the roots a bit, and spread them out. Otherwise, they have the tendency to wrap around and around in a circle, eventually strangling themselves.

Mulch with straw or chopped leaves and water well; this is crucial, don’t tease them with just a sprinkle.

You may want to stake them to hold them upright and prevent wind from preventing the roots from establishing, but you can make that determination depending on your usual climate conditions.

In high wind areas, I definitely recommend this; use old garden hose to protect the trunk, and make three guy wires to long spikes or nails into the ground about 4′ away from the base of the tree.

This will prevent the tree from moving too much until it roots into the soil outside the planting hole.

You can gradually loosen these to allow more movement, as this will encourage the tree to ‘stand on it’s own two feet’. The tendency is to be lazy, on the trees part, so don’t let them get too complacent.

Happy Springtime Tree Planting!