Planting Bare Root Plants

by | Mar 25, 2024

All our fruit trees and many shade and flowering trees/shrubs are field lifted and sold to us as bare root plants. All our roses arrive bare root, as do many small fruits, like raspberries and strawberries. Handled properly, the survival rate is excellent. We immediately heel them into
bark mulch to keep their roots moist, then we pot them as soon as possible.

We pot them carefully, keeping the bud unions on roses and the grafts on trees just above the soil level and the roots fully set in the soil. We water immediately to thoroughly soak the roots and remove any air pockets.

At this point and for the next three to four weeks, the trees can be lifted out of the pots and replanted right away, using the soil that is in the pots as part of the new soil mix.

Later, when new roots have begun to form and the leaves are coming out, these plants can still be transplanted, but that should be done on a cooler day or in the evening when there will be less warm weather stress on them. Sometimes, for minimal root disturbance, it is easier and better to cut the pot away and then set the tree in its new planting area. Once planted, the soil needs to be kept moist and the leaves misted with water for a few days until the tree settles in.

Minter Country Garden-Chilliwack-British Columbia-planting bare root plants-bare root fruit tree
Minter Country Garden-Chilliwack-British Columbia-planting bare root plants-fruit trees in pots

 As these plants become rootbound in their pots, it’s much easier to transplant them because the root ball will hold together. Even trees rootbound in pots need to be watered daily, especially during warm weather, to ensure that the roots stay moist.

All newly transplanted trees need to be kept watered by hand until the roots are well established, in approximately 8-12 weeks.