The Q&A Archives: Bare Roots Plants

Question: When I receive a bare root tree or plant, what should I do? I have had mixed results with them in the past. Some plants have prospered and some have died. Please let me know what to do to make them grow. Thank you.

Answer: Bare root plants should be kept dormant and planted as soon as possible so they can wake up naturally with the season. If necessary they can be kept for a few days until planting -- but they should be stored cool, above freezing but below 45 degrees so they stay dormant. If the plant has started to leaf out already and is no longer dormant and yet temperatures are still below freezing then it is much more difficult for the plant to survive. Take care to plant at the same depth as they grew originally, not too deep. Water well at planting to settle any air pockets in the soil. Then water as needed to keep the soil slightly damp (not sopping wet) during the first spring, summer and fall until the ground freezes again. I hope this helps.

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