Later winter and early spring are the ideal times for Oregonians to plant bare root trees. Planting them now gives them time to acclimate to your garden or lawn without the stress of very cold or very hot weather. March is a great time to plant bare root fruit trees, berries, and ornamental trees and shrubs.
What Are Bare Root Trees And Plants?
As their name says, these trees and shrubs are sold with their roots bare of soil but wrapped in damp newsprint or other paper. These plants begin their lives in soil, but they are dug out when they are dormant. They are kept in a cool place until they are ready for sale.
The advantages that bare root trees have over those grown in containers or have their roots bound in burlap is that they weigh less, which lowers their cost and makes them easier to care for. It also makes them easier for you to take home. They acclimate more quickly to the garden, are not as susceptible to transplant shock and tend to grow bigger than container trees in a shorter period of time.
Planting bare root trees is simple, though if the sapling is tall, you may need a helper. When you first bring your tree home, take it out of the package and put it in a pail of water for a few hours. If it can’t be planted right away, dig a shallow hole on the north side of your house and heel the tree in. Cover the roots with damp leaves or shredded newspaper until you’re ready to plant.
In the meantime, dig a hole. The hole should be broad enough to give the roots plenty of room to spread out. Then, remove any grass and turn the soil over in a three-foot-wide circle around the hole. This helps the roots grow. Some people add a handful of fertilizer then cover it with gardening soil and mulch.
Take the tree out of the pail, and plant it to just beneath the place where the trunk joins the crown. Do not bury the crown, because this will cause it to rot. Partially fill the hole, then firm it around the roots.
Add the rest of the soil to the crown and firm it down. It should not be too tight. Use the shovel to make a basin around the tree to retain water, then water the tree thoroughly. Our Vermicompost at Hilton Landscape Supply is ideal for transplanting. It helps to prevent transplant shock and increases the survival rate of your bare root tree. Tamp down the soil to remove any air pockets, and water once again.
Top it off with mulch around the tree. Again, the mulch should not touch the crown. Keep the mulch and soil around the new tree moist but do not allow it to get waterlogged. Water the tree every week or so if the weather is unusually dry though some gardeners may want to water their new tree every three days or so. Water the tree at the dripline, which is the distance from the trunk to the tip of a branch.
Don’t hesitate to contact us at Hilton Landscape Supply for your mulch and other landscaping needs. Our number here is (541) 664-3374.