What are Bare Root Fruit Trees?
Bare root trees are deciduous trees that are sold during the winter when they are dormant. They are grown in the ground or pots during the growing season and once they drop their leaves they are lifted, pruned and prepared for shipping.
How are Bare Root Trees Shipped?
Bare root trees are shipped free of soil or pots. They can be bundled together for shipping which means that freight is very economical, especially for anyone purchasing a group of trees as they can be packed together into one compact package. Their roots are protected during transport with some moist packing material, this prevents them from drying out which is very important.
What do I do with my Bare Root Trees when I receive them?
It is important to plant your bare rooted trees as soon as possible, if you do not have your site prepared you may choose to pot your tree until you have the ground prepared, do this as soon as you receive it into a good quality potting mix. Despite the trees being dormant they still need to be cared for and it is important to make sure that the roots of your trees do not dry out, don't leave them lying exposed in the sun. You may also heal in your trees into a garden bed which involves covering the roots with soil until you have the site prepared for planting. Don't over water your bare root trees while they are dormant.
How do I plant my Bare Root Trees?
Dig a hole that is at least twice the size of the root ball, remember do not leave your bare rooted tree lying in the sun while you are busy digging the hole. Free drainage is vital for the health of all trees so make sure that the soils is rich, fertile and drains freely. If necessary you may need to add some compost or mound your planting site if you have heavy clay soil. It is important that you do not plant the tree any deeper that it was originally grown in the soil, look for a change in colour at the base of the stem, this will indicate where the previous soil line has been, plant it to the same depth, never deeper. Spread the roots out in a natural fashion, if necessary a little mound of soil in the centre of your hole will help you to hold the tree at the correct planting height. Back fill with soil, gently shaking the trunk of your tree as you are back filling will help the soil to fill between the roots. Water in well, this removes any pockets of air and settles the soil around the roots. If the tree feels loose in the ground place two stakes in the ground either side of your tree well away the root zone and loosely tie the tree to the stakes with a soft cloth tie in a figure of 8 around the trunk of your tree. Mulch well with organic mulch like Lucerne hay, this will break down and feed your tree but remember it needs to be kept away from the trunk of the tree. Do not fertilize your tree until it begins to break dormancy in the spring time.
How long do Bare Root Fruit Trees take to fruit
Grafted trees can flowers and fruit in their first year however we do recommend that you remove all the fruit from your new trees for the first year, this will allow your trees to establish into strong and healthy trees before you let them fruit. If you leave them to fruit in their first year they will put all their energy into the fruit at the expense of roots and shoots which can stress and stunt the growth of your tree.
Why Plant Bare Root Trees
Bare root trees are easy to plant and they will surprise you in the spring when they push off with a vigorous flush of new growth. They are extremely satisfying to plant and grow but the best thing about them is they will reward all your efforts with a bounty of home grown fruit for years to come.
Be inspired and venture out into your garden to plant a fruit tree today.