The use of container hardwood seedlings is an alternative to bareroot planting stock. In January 1996, 1,485 container seedlings of Nuttall oak (Quercus nuttallii Palmer), willow oak (Q. phellos L.). overcup oak (Q. lyrata Walter), and water oak (Q. nigra L.) were planted in Sharkey clay on an abandoned agricultural field situated in the Lower Mississippi River Alluvial Valley. Beginning with the passage of a cold front on January 31, daily minimum temperatures dipped as low as 6 °F. For 5 days, dally high temperatures did not climb above 32 °F. This cold period caused 33.7 percent of all seedlings to frost heave and an overall survival of 0.5 percent. Our observations suggest that container seedlings should not be planted on shrink-swell clay soils until after the threat of hard freezing has passed. Seedling root morphology combined with soil conditions at the time of planting may have contributed to the frost heaving.
Stroupe, Matthew C. and Williams, Hans M., "Frost Heaving of Container Hardwood Seedlings Planted in an Abandoned Agriculitural Field in Sharkey County, Mississippi" (1999). Faculty Publications. 514.