How to Plant Bare Rooted Trees
Bare rooted plants are field grown and when the time is right they are carefully lifted out of the ground by hand if small enough but mostly with a special machine capable of lifting larger plants without damaging the root ball.
Lifting is done in November to February when the roots are dormant, this means the plant is “sleeping” and will not go into “shock” when taken out of the ground. Planting bare rooted plants should be done around the same time.
On receiving check that the roots have not dried out, if they have they will need watering before planting. When roots dry out the plant will suffer damage and may even die. Ideally soak the root ball in a large bucket of water for around five minutes.
If this is not possible because you have lots of plants say for a hedge then water them thoroughly with a hose pipe ideally near to the position where your planting as the rootball becomes very heavy after watering.
To plant dig a hole at least twice the size of the rootball of the plant but only deep enough so the rootball sits the hole and the lowest part of the trunk is above the ground. Using a Mycorrihizal fungi helps to speed up root growth, its a special fungi which extracts nutrients from the soil and gives it to the plant in return for carbon.
Backfill the hole with a good top soil or half compost and half original soil which you dug out. If the plant needs staking only stake halfway up the tree so that the lower half is staked and the top half is free to blow in the wind, this will strengthen the top half and keep the lower half steady until the roots grow into the fresh soil and the tree will anchor its self.
After planting water thoroughly. Keep an eye on the plants and do not allow them to dry out, there should be no need to feed or prune the tree in the first year. After the first year start feeding according to the plant type.
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