What is Bare Root?
In gardening terms, ‘Bare Root’ refers to a plant that is sold with its roots exposed, by itself, rather than planted in a container with soil. This means they can be sold for significantly less than potted plants. Bare Root season runs from June through August, while the plants are dormant.
Almost all deciduous plants can be sold bare rooted; deciduous plants are those that lose their leaves in Autumn and go dormant in winter, enabling them to be dug up and sold bare rooted with minimal impact to the health of the plant.
A wide range of deciduous plants can be bought bare rooted in the winter months, including:
- Fruit trees (excluding citrus)
- Ornamental Trees such as Ornamental Pears, Oak, Birch, Elm, Ash, Cercis and many more
- Herbaceous Perennials such as Rhubarb & Asparagus
Once purchased, they must be planted as soon as possible, and the roots must not be allowed to dry out.
Preparing the Soil for bare root
Bare root trees are best planted as soon as possible after purchase, so preparing the planting site beforehand is ideal. Dig over the soil at the planting site; If the soil is clay, Permafert or other organic matter needs to be added to improve the structure of the soil.
The ideal soil for planting into is an open and friable soil that is easy for the roots of the plant to grow into once it comes out of dormancy in spring and that has plenty of organic matter.