Most people think of growing flowering ornamentals, herbs, or vegetables in containers or container gardens without considering the bigger possibilities -- growing trees in containers! While there are some challenges with the practice of growing trees in containers it offers many advantages.
Not everybody has the need, or want, to use containers to grow trees but in certain circumstances, it provides a great alternative for people who may not grow trees otherwise.
People living in apartments or high-rise buildings in urban areas may not have a yard to plant trees in, but they often have patios where they can put containers.
Those that frequently move due to work, or other personal circumstances. Instead of constantly having to leave trees behind, containers can move with them.
Homeowners who want to create shade or a privacy barrier for areas such as a pool or patio that doesn’t have soil to plant trees in.
A desired type of tree isn’t suited for your growing zone, especially the local winter climate.
While using containers for trees has the following great advantages, there are also some drawbacks to the practice.
Along with the advantages of using containers to grow trees, there are also some drawbacks that need to be considered before you start your project.
The price tag on trees is considerably higher than other plants, and the large pots and a greater amount of potting soil needed to fill containers all add up to make growing trees in containers a fairly expensive endeavor.
Potted containers are heavy and cumbersome to move. If you’re planting in containers to grow specimens unsuited for your growing zone, use heavy duty rolling plant caddies to save your back and easily move containers to a protected spot when the weather turns.
When trees are planted in the ground, the surrounding soil acts as an insulator, protecting the root system from temperature extremes. Container grown plants - trees included - are more vulnerable to cold and heat without this extra insulation.
Unlike growing annuals or vegetable plants in containers, growing trees is a much more long term project. Depending on the variety of trees chosen, they can live twenty, thirty, or even more than fifty years. This is a more serious commitment than tomatoes or petunias.
To get the best growth from your trees, follow some basic growing tips:
If you are looking for trees that do well in containers, there are a handful that are recommended. These specimens adapt well to the specific conditions and flourish when taken care of appropriately.
Growing trees in containers is a brilliant alternative for people that don’t have a yard to landscape, those that move frequently, and homeowners that want to add shade or privacy to a non-plantable space. With some basic care and attention, container grown trees can thrive.
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