How to winterize potted Pear plants


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Hello all!

I've got two pear plants that I grew from seeds in the spring, both about the same size (around 4 inches tall) that are both in 4 inch tall by 4 inch diameter pots. I believe they reached the point where they have maxed out their growth potential for the size pot, and I've got some 6 inch diameter by 5 inch tall pots lined up next.

My question is two parted: first, what steps are needed to take to ensure they survive the winter? Will I need to take it inside for its first winter, and every subsequent winter? If not, do I leave them outside until the first frost? I live in Albany NY, where I see pear trees growing naturally in this climate, and where there are mature trees, I can only assume it meant that they survived winters as seedlings similar to mine, but I understand that there might be different variables at play for trees growing naturally outside, and ones in pots. I've heard that they are pretty hearty trees, and might actually need a dormant/winter period. I'm not against bringing them inside if that is what they require, but I have two cats that run a very high risk of destroying them.

The second part is when should I move them to the larger pots? Should I do it now while there is still relatively warm fall weather ahead, or wait until spring? Does it not matter if I have to bring them indoors anyway?

Basically, I know almost nothing about fruit trees, and need to know what steps I need to take to keep these bad boys alive and thriving so I can feast on the delicious pears down the road. Thanks in advance for any help!!
 
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Hello all!

I've got two pear plants that I grew from seeds in the spring, both about the same size (around 4 inches tall) that are both in 4 inch tall by 4 inch diameter pots. I believe they reached the point where they have maxed out their growth potential for the size pot, and I've got some 6 inch diameter by 5 inch tall pots lined up next.

My question is two parted: first, what steps are needed to take to ensure they survive the winter? Will I need to take it inside for its first winter, and every subsequent winter? If not, do I leave them outside until the first frost? I live in Albany NY, where I see pear trees growing naturally in this climate, and where there are mature trees, I can only assume it meant that they survived winters as seedlings similar to mine, but I understand that there might be different variables at play for trees growing naturally outside, and ones in pots. I've heard that they are pretty hearty trees, and might actually need a dormant/winter period. I'm not against bringing them inside if that is what they require, but I have two cats that run a very high risk of destroying them.

The second part is when should I move them to the larger pots? Should I do it now while there is still relatively warm fall weather ahead, or wait until spring? Does it not matter if I have to bring them indoors anyway?

Basically, I know almost nothing about fruit trees, and need to know what steps I need to take to keep these bad boys alive and thriving so I can feast on the delicious pears down the road. Thanks in advance for any help!!

If, if these seedling trees are of the same variety as the ones growing in the ground outside I would wait until the spring to transplant them into the ground. As far as the pot size, no matter what size pot you have, Albany NY gets really cold and will freeze the roots if left outside in containers. So, move them into a protected environment until you can transplant them. As far as the pot size goes a good rule of thumb is the diameter of the pot should be twice the diameter of the canopy of the seedling tree
 
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I live in a rental property, so my plan is to keep them in pots, not necessarily plant them in the ground. That way I can bring them with me if I end up moving. But it sounds like I'll need to get some bigger pots. Since leaving them outside over the winter would appear to be detrimental, should I bring them inside the heated part of the house, or should I put them in the basement near a window, where it will get cold, but not as cold as outside? Do they need a period of dormancy to simulate winter, or should I just try to get year round growth by having them outside in the summer and inside in the heat in the winter?
 
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I live in a rental property, so my plan is to keep them in pots, not necessarily plant them in the ground. That way I can bring them with me if I end up moving. But it sounds like I'll need to get some bigger pots. Since leaving them outside over the winter would appear to be detrimental, should I bring them inside the heated part of the house, or should I put them in the basement near a window, where it will get cold, but not as cold as outside? Do they need a period of dormancy to simulate winter, or should I just try to get year round growth by having them outside in the summer and inside in the heat in the winter?
Leaving them outside in pots would kill them because the soil in the small containers will allow the soil and the roots to freeze solid. Pears are cold hardy in the ground but not in containers so move them indoors someplace where it is warm enough for the soil not to freeze. They will need a dormancy period when they are older and much larger
 
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