Bare Rooted Plant Tips
Buying and planting a bare rooted tree/shrub is a great way to ensure a happy healthy plant for the growing season, and is usually quite a bit cheaper than buying the same plant in a pot.
As deciduous trees and shrubs (including roses, crab apples, birches and stone fruit trees) are dormant during the cold months of winter, they can be moved around and planted with a minimum of stress or shock to the plant.
When chosing your bare root tree or shrub look for a good symetrical shape and a lack of new growth. If there is new growth on your bare root plant, be a little more careful when planting as there may be some roots which are not entirely dormant and can be damaged by rough treatment.
Once you get your bare root plant home, either plant it in the ground or a pot immediately, or wrap the roots in wet newspaper and put in a plastic bag in a shaded spot.
When planting first trim any damaged roots, and prune back all stems by around 20%. Then dig a hole which will easily accomidate the width of the plants' root ball, to a depth where the graft union (if there is one) sits about 5cm above the surface of the soil.
Sit the plant in the hole and make sure it stays upright as you back fill the hole with a combination of the garden soil you removed, and a good quality compost (such as Plants Plus Groganic). Shake the stem of the plant lightly to encourage the soil to fill in the hole.
Tamp the soil down lightly into the hole with your hands, then water in thoroughly to remove any air bubbles.
Your bare rooted plant is now ready to go for springtime!