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  • Grafted Tree Winter Storage?

    I was lucky enough to get one of HarveyC's BELLE BM/BT grafted trees. As you known I live in Chicago where the temps fall below zero majority of the mid winter. Because Grafted tree Is very fragile and delicate I've been informed not to let it get too cold over the winter and putting it with the rest of my potted trees may fall below 35/40F if not put to sleep correctly. So I had an idea I was conversing with WillsC about and thought I should ask all you wonderful people about the idea..
    So (for those of you who don't know I work for a miller beer distributor and deliver kegs of beer all over Chicago city) I have a Kegorator (or direct draw box) in my heated garage. It's normally off during the winter months. What if once the temps start to drop in fall when it's time to sleep I was to store Tis belle tree in the Kegorator at say a constant 40F degree? So it won't be harmed?
    Zone 5 Chicago IL Wish list:
    1) Rest peacfully Amico Bello Buddy 👼🏼.
    2) This weeks ebay auctions.

  • #2
    I have overwintered Black Madeira and Figo Preto (ungrafted) in an unattached garage that got down in to the low 20's on a few nights. There was no cold damage. I would think having them grafted onto BT rootstock, if anything, would make them cold hardier.
    Steve
    D-i-c-k-e-r-s-o-n, MD; zone 7a
    WL: Verdolino, Figue Jaune, Nantes Maroc, Lussheim

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    • #3
      But to take a chance on new grafted tree? Low 20's in mid winter here is like a spring day. Tis my first graft tree so I want to make sure I get off to good start
      Zone 5 Chicago IL Wish list:
      1) Rest peacfully Amico Bello Buddy 👼🏼.
      2) This weeks ebay auctions.

      Comment


      • #4
        Mike, that sounds like a good waste of a kegerator But with it you might get the results you are looking for. With my potted figs, I let them go dormant outside before moving to winter storage (usually around Thanksgiving here in MA).

        The one thing that you should watch for is to make sure the tree doesn't get too dry. I usually water my winter storage trees about once a month starting in Dec. This past winter most of the root zones were frozen in late Jan/Feb but they seemed to pull through ok.

        Does the kegerator take moisture out of the air inside like a fridge? If so, you might have to check for dryness more often.

        Good luck with your grafted Black Madeira.
        Kevin (Eastern MA - Zone 5b/6a)

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        • #5
          One other question, how warm does your heated garage get? 50's? 60's? It might do ok in there without the kegerator if you wrapped it someway.

          Or maybe built a "winter storage box" that was insulated to prevent it from getting too cold/warm. Just a thought.
          Kevin (Eastern MA - Zone 5b/6a)

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          • #6
            Here in winter the last thing I think about is getting home a pouring a tall ice cold beer I make a solid block of ice vodka/booze 6 bottle holder on my back deck and leave the bottles outside all winter. So the kegerator is free of use. It do not take moist out of air. Just act as cold box
            Zone 5 Chicago IL Wish list:
            1) Rest peacfully Amico Bello Buddy 👼🏼.
            2) This weeks ebay auctions.

            Comment


            • fitzski
              fitzski commented
              Editing a comment
              Then it should work, i'm sure your figs would be ok with the constant temps. Last winter was the first winter with my unheated greenhouse and the temps dipped into 20's a few times but they all seemed to pull through ok.

              I'd still check it periodically for dryness. They don't drink much water in the winter so just don't let it go bone dry.

            • Taverna78
              Taverna78 commented
              Editing a comment
              Great well I guess as long as I keep alive until winter then I try Ha!

          • #7
            It's a thought stays about 50 but when door open it drops right away and takes a while to warm
            Back up. I thought about storage box too but how to regulate temps?
            Zone 5 Chicago IL Wish list:
            1) Rest peacfully Amico Bello Buddy 👼🏼.
            2) This weeks ebay auctions.

            Comment


            • #8
              If you have a winter storage box that is sealed and insulated well(2+ inches of foam insulation), the sudden drop in temps when you open the door in winter shouldn't effect the internal temp.

              I don't do this but I saw someone do it on one of the forums. I'll try to find the link when I get a chance.

              I'd be extra cautious with a prized fig like HarveyCs grafted Black Madeira though.
              Kevin (Eastern MA - Zone 5b/6a)

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              • #9
                Oh yes tis why I ask now because I have about 5 trees I can not lose.
                Zone 5 Chicago IL Wish list:
                1) Rest peacfully Amico Bello Buddy 👼🏼.
                2) This weeks ebay auctions.

                Comment


                • #10
                  Here are some links:

                  http://figs4funforum.websitetoolbox....post1284468540

                  http://figs4funforum.websitetoolbox....winter+storage

                  In the second one, the guy lined his greenhouse with 1" rigid foam insulation on all sides including the top. He heated it but seeing your garage is heated, the same things might work.

                  Good luck!
                  Kevin (Eastern MA - Zone 5b/6a)

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                  • #11
                    Is there a rule of thumb as to how high in temp you can store your trees?
                    Zone 6a Orange County NY

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                    • fitzski
                      fitzski commented
                      Editing a comment
                      for us northerners, you really want to tree to stay dormant during the winter. Ideally, the temps should be 35-40 like Mike said but it might be ok a little higher or lower given they are protected.

                      My potted figs overwinter in my unheated greenhouse and the temps dropped into mid-20's on cold nights this past winter without any damage.

                      There are many folks that just mulch their in ground figs with many inches of mulch to protect the roots and let them dieback to the ground every year. Others wrap their in ground figs with blankets/rugs/insulation and plastic to protect them.

                      Important thing is if the do come inside for the winter is to try to keep them dormant. A basement at 50-55 is not great as they will most likely start sprouting in Jan/Feb. This happened to me a few years ago.

                    • sal
                      sal commented
                      Editing a comment
                      That's what I'm worried about having it hit 50-55. I was going to bring them all inside and put them in my attic at least for the first year.

                  • #12
                    I think I'm going to try the winter storage box inside my unheated greenhouse for some of my 1yr old fig trees.

                    All my 1 yr old trees made it through the winter last year but I think with extra protection they may do better.

                    a 4' x 8' sheet of 2inch foam is just over $30 at Home Depot.

                    http://www.homedepot.com/p/Owens-Cor...52DD/202085962

                    Kevin (Eastern MA - Zone 5b/6a)

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