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FAQs and Planting Instructions
What does "bare root" mean?
Bare root trees are just that -- with bare roots. Nurseries dig their trees out of the ground in early spring when the they are dormant and then ship them without any soil around the roots. Because they are dormant, there is less chance of shocking the tree during transport and planting. Ultimately, bare root trees grow quicker and adapt better to their new conditions than potted trees. The tricky thing is that bare root trees can only remain in this dormant state for a short time, and must be planted before they come out of dormancy — in other words, before they encounter spring's warmth and sun.
When do I plant my bare root tree?
We recommend planting your tree as soon as possible after you pick it up. Because the roots are bare, you must keep it in a cool, dark place until planting time. If bare root trees encounter warmth and sun, they'll emerge from dormancy, become stressed, and will die. If planting on a sunny day, do so in the early morning before it gets too hot.
How do I plant my bare-root tree?
To avoid stressing the trees, leave them in the shade while you dig the holes. You may also want to soak the roots in water for up to 30 minutes to help rehydrate them and prepare them for planting.
1. Dig a hole twice the size of the roots but leave a dirt 'core' in the bottom that will encourage the roots to grow downwards.
2. Place the tree in the hole with the roots spread around the dirt cone. Make sure the bud union, or "crook", of the trunk is 2-3 inches ABOVE the soil line.
3. Backfill the hole and stamp down the soil to remove any air pockets.
4. Place tree stakes about 1.5 feet from the trunk. Use flexible ties that will not damage the tree or bark.
5. Cover the area with mulch, but leave 2-3 inches around the trunk free from mulch. Water thoroughly.