Overwintering Ornamental Trees in Pots


Hi. I’d like to keep my Dappled Willow Standard trees in large above-ground containers. For the winter, I’ve set each container on a wood base, and have wrapped the plastic pots in bubble wrap to provide some insulation. Will this be sufficient for the trees to overwinter? I’m west of Toronto, in Cambridge. Thank you.


Since Tri-color dappled willow trees do best in Zones 4-9 older blooming willows are usually robust enough to tolerate the average winter without problems if they are planted in the garden and not in pots. Younger plants should be given a little bit of winter protection, e.g. by covering them with fir brushwood, straw, garden fleece or foliage. One should make sure that sufficient air ventilation is ensured all the time.

The situation is different for plants in pots since they are more vulnerable to frost. To get them through the winter safely, you can bring them into a cool, frost-free room with a bit of sun inside the house. With respective protection, they can also overwinter outside.

  • search for a well protected place in the garden
  • place the bucket in an elevated position to avoid frost from below; Styrofoam or wood plates are well fit to this
  • wrap the pot loosely in bubble pack or something alike
  • fill the room between wrapping and bucket with straw or dry foliage
  • wrap branches and twigs with multiple layers of garden fleece
  • finally, cover the root area with straw

Below is a link to more information on overwintering you standards.


Good overwintering your Dappled Willow Standard trees.