Acer Palmatum "Arakawa" - Cork Bark Maple

I live in the GTA area of Southern Ontario (hardiness zone 5-6 depending on the winter). I just acquired a really nice 12 yr Arakawa maple still in a grower’s pot.

Should I just plant it in the ground for the winter (with mulch and fencing to keep rabbits and squirrels away), or should I leave it in the pot and put in my unheated garage for the winter?

I usually keep most of my small or more delicate trees in the garage, but I did put a couple of Japanese Maples in the ground in the garden (with fencing) last winter, and they survived just fine (it was a mild winter). Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks, Bob

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