How to Plant a Tree Sapling During Cold Weather

Plant a sapling

Taking care of a plant can help a child develop a sense of responsibility. If it’s too cold to plant a tree where you live, consider planting a sapling indoors. As you and your child nurture it, keep track of its growth. By the time warm weather comes, it may be ready to plant outdoors.

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  • Tree sapling to plant*

  • A pot or other container with drainage

  • Potting soil

  • Water and fertilizer as needed

*Many nurseries and garden centers have saplings or young trees for sale. You can also start smaller and grow your own sapling from a seed by graduating the seedling to larger containers as it grows.


  1. Select a tree. Good choices for container planting include Japanese maples, dwarf conifers, and yews. Make sure your selection can survive in your climate when the tree is ready to move outdoors.
  2. Choose a container. Depending on the size of your sapling, go for a pot that easily accommodates its roots. Make sure it has good drainage. Fill the pot about two-thirds of the way up with soil, hollowing out the center for the sapling.
  3. Plant your tree. Pour a little water into the hollow, place the sapling in it, then add more soil over the roots and pat it down.
  4. Water and fertilize regularly. Container plants tend to dry out more quickly than their earthbound counterparts. Depending on the needs of your particular species of tree, keep the soil watered and add fertilizer every few weeks to months.


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