Most often, when I go to a nursery or garden center, I go home with a trunk full of potted flowers, trees, and shrubs. (I know, I'm a little but of a plant nut.) I then repot them if they're house plant, or dig a hole and plant them outside. The tree I buy looks just like what I expect it to look like what it's planted in my yard, assuming I don't do something horribly wrong. It's pretty straightforward.
But what about bare root trees? What are they? And why even bother?
Well, the first clue is there in the title, bare root. These are trees that are dug out of the ground without soil around their roots. The roots are wrapped in damp hay, sawdust, or an different medium to keep the roots dark and damp, but they are not covered in soil like potted plants.
Bare root trees are 1-3 year old trees that are harvested once they have gone dormant in the fall (usually late October/early November around here. They are then dug up, and either shipped out to be planted immediately, or stored carefully in the fridge to be planted in the spring, before they come out of dormancy.
The tricky part of bare root trees is that they need to be kept cool, damp, and moist the entire time until planting. The roots can start to dry out if exposed to wind or sun for as little as two minutes!
So if they're as fussy as all that, why do we love them so much?
Wider Selection - You, the tree planter, can find a much wider selection of bare root trees for your yard or garden than if you were shopping for potted trees. There are also many more disease resistant, easy to grow trees.
Price - They are a much better bargain than potted trees! Shipping costs and growing costs are all much lower for us, which means we can offer them for much less than potted trees to you!
Better Growth – Bareroot trees have more root mass than potted trees, meaning once they are planted, they can root in and take off quicker than potted trees. They don't have to go through the process of transitioning from container soil to your local soil, and if planted in the fall, they have weeks worth more of root growth time than spring planted potted trees. Despite the fact that bare root trees can look like a stick with roots and no signs of life, bare root trees are younger and easier to prune and shape to create a strong, fruit bearing structure for your trees.
Ease Of Handling - Bareroot trees are lightweight, which means they can be easily shipped right to your doorstep! They are easier to carry or transport to wherever you need to bring them, and it only takes one person to plan the tree.
We are so glad to be selling barefoot trees, and think it's a great way to plant trees. Let us know if you have any further questions for us!