Experts and BHG readers answer.
Can I plant shrubs and trees in containers?
Can I plant shrubs and trees in containers outside, and winter outside as well?
The general rule of thumb for planting trees, shrubs and perennials in containers is that the plants that you select should be hardy to 2 Hardiness Zones warmer than otherwise for them to reliably survive in the container outdoors. So if you're in Zone 5, for instance, select plants hardy to Zone 3.
The other option is to move the containers into the garage or some other location where they would be more protected from the elements.