Bareroot Information and Tips

What is Bareroot?

– Bareroot means the tree, shrub or fruit is still dormant.  It does not have leaves, and it is not potted.  When you buy a bareroot tree, you get just the tree – no pot, no dirt, just trunk and branches.

Why buy Bareroot?

  • Value – we sell our bareroot items for half the potted price!
  • Ease of Handling and Planting – not only do you not have to deal with a heavy, dirt filled pot but you usually don’t have to dig as big of a hole
  • Great Selection – bareroot requires less space so we are able to have many varieties on hand.  Anything that is leftover after the sale will be potted up for our sale stock for the rest of the season.
  • Good Performance – bareroot trees and shrubs frequently take off more quickly than potted ones.  The roots do not have to transition from nursery soil to the native soil.  Planting in early spring also gives that much more growing time for the tree to establish before winter.

Bareroot Care and Planting

  • Keep roots moist and cool.  There’s no need to put them in a bucket of water – some moist straw or a towel and a shady spot will do just fine.
  • Plant as soon as possible after purchasing
  • Soak planting site if soil is dry, sandy or rocky
  • Dig hole only deep enough to reach root flare but wide enough to allow roots to reach straight out.  Do not curve root in hole!
  • Soil level should be at or just below root flare – the place where the trunk flares out to become roots.
  • Add no more than 50% compost back into hole, mixed with the native soil.  Firmly tamp soil around roots.
  • Water thoroughly after planting.
  • Water slowly and deeply, about 1 inch a week.

Some Great Resources for More Information

Bareroot Apple Trees getting tagged.

Size of a bareroot apple tree

Damp bare roots that will be covered with wet straw to keep them from drying out

Bundles of bareroot shrubs that will quickly be covered with wet straw or ‘heeled in’ in pots.  Heeled in means to place the whole bundle into a large pot and add loose, damp soil.  This protects them from drying out but still allows them to be pulled out for sale as bareroot.