Q: I’ve been given an eight-inch long ponderosa pine seedling. Can I plant it now or do I put it in a cool location in my garage till spring?
A: Plant it outdoors immediately…but don’t expect it to live long in Marietta. You’d expect that Georgia, which has more pine trees that you can shake a stick at, would be good habitat for all pines. Such is not the case, though. Ponderosa pine is native to the Pacific Northwest, where winters are cold but summers are mild. I expect your tree would survive a few years before giving up the ghost during a scorching July day here.
If I haven’t discouraged you too much, try planting it on the east side of a building where it gets several hours of morning sunshine but shade in the afternoon. Be sure to loosen the soil in a large area around the planting spot, which should always drain rapidly after a rain. Let me know how it does after this summer.