Roots of a Bare Root Tree in the Planting Hole
Roots of a Bare Root Tree in the Planting Hole

Planting - 2. How to Plant Bare Root Trees

How to Plant Bare Root Trees? – is a question that an amateur gardener may ask, a gardener who wants to plant in the garden or in its property fruit or ornamental trees of this type, but does not know the way.

But that is why ‘Kalliergeia’ exists.

Coming after the First, with the Second Part of the planting tribute to give the appropriate answers and on this question.

For this reason, calls on any remaining brave reader who happens to know the above-mentioned gardener, to recommend him unreservedly to read the informative article it follows.

One such informative article, for which the editorial team of ‘Kalliergeia’ is almost certain that it will eventually convince the above-mentioned amateur gardener to erase the search for the present site ever and for any reason.

Like – additionally – and to interrupt any kind of relationship with the brave reader of ‘Kalliergeia’ who made the necessary recommendations.

Whether in the home garden or in the orchard, the process of planting bare root trees is common in many respects.

Planting a New Orchard with Tree Planting Machine
Planting a New Orchard with Tree Planting Machine
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Impossibility of Immediate Planting

Sometimes it happens that the amateur gardener has purchased the bare root trees, the planting holes are open but can not immediately plant them for a variety of reasons.

What should he do in this case?

That he need to do is take care of their safe temporary storage. And safe storage means protecting the root system from desiccation – drying – which will result to the bare root  trees death.

Luckily for the amateur gardener, there are also ways and means of adequately protecting the root system of the bare root trees.

How to Plant Bare Root Trees

Bare Root Trees Temporary Safe Storage
Bare Root Trees Temporary Safe Storage

Prevention of Roots Drying

In order to avoid root desiccation, various materials are used which help to safely transport bare root trees, store them efficiently or for both. 

However, regardless of how or where, the bare root trees that will not immediately be planted must kept in a shady, sheltered from the wind and cool place.

How to Plant Bare Root Trees

Means of Roots Protection

Means of protection – amongst others – include straw, mud slurry, hydrogel and river sand. How and what exactly they do is listed just below.

Coating with Straw

The straw is used wet around the roots. The disadvantage of using wet straw is that it does not protect the fine roots.

Mud Slurry

The roots are coated with mud slurry. To be effective this method, the mud must not be allowed to dry out.

Roots Dipping in Hydrogel of Fine Grades

Initially, the roots are dipped in a hydrogel slurry of fine grades, prepared according to the manufacturer’s instructions, and then bag them in plastic.

This method protects the roots from desiccation for 5 to 7 days, and is best for transporting them at short or long distances.

Temporary Planting Place

By the use of boards or concrete blocks or other similar materials, a temporary ‘flower bed’ is created in the garden a little higher than the length of the roots.

Inside it the bare root trees are placed and they are covered with a mixture of river sand (50%) and soil (50%) – preferably with the same soil of the field where they are to be transplanted.

This method is suitable for long-term storage.

How to Plant Bare Root Trees

How to Plant Bare Root Trees - Bare Root Trees Heeled in With Straw Mulch
Bare Root Trees Heeled in With Straw Mulch

Planting Day

On the day of planting, the amateur gardener, who is delighted, takes the bare root trees from the bucket of water, where he left them for 1 to 4 hours, and takes them to the planting place. He put them lying on the ground, taking care to be in the shade.

Then he gets the first bare root tree in his hands and trimmed back to healthy tissue, the dry, rotten or diseased roots, while from the upper part of the tree he prunes only the broken branches, any codominant leaders as well as any rubbing or cross branches

Also, especially for fruit bare root trees, prunes over a bud at a height of 50 to 60 cm (20-24 in) to encourage low branching.

Now the tree is ready for planting.

How to Plant Bare Root Trees

Soaking Roots in Water before Planting
Soaking Roots in Water before Planting

How Do Not Plant Bare Root Trees

Before any reference is made about how to plant bare root trees will open a little parenthesis about how they are not planted.

So then:

  • Planting depth must be the same as that when it was planted in the nursery
  • No aggregate material, such as pumice stone or gravel, is added to the bottom of the planting hole to drain it – it has no practical effect and overload the planting costs
  • No organic substance is added (except sandy or heavy loamy soils) to mix with the existing soil because it can create anaerobic conditions in the rhizosphere area, resulting in the drying and death of the tree
  • No fertilizer is added unless it is controlled release and in small quantities

How to Plant Bare Root Trees

Using a Shovel to Place the Tree Base at the Ground Level
Using a Shovel to Place the Tree Base at the Ground Level

How to Plant Bare Root Trees

In front of the hole, the amateur gardener is ready to plant the first bare root tree, so:

  • He takes a quantity of the excavated soil and creates a solid, compressed coneat the bottom of the hole, after he has calculated its height so that when the tree is placed, the beginning of the root flare should be at soil level
  • At the top of the cone, which must be in the center of the hole, mounts the tree plumb
  • Taking care to spread the roots on the surface of the soil cone, backfill with a quantity of soil as much as it takes to keep the tree upright
  • Then it irrigates so that collapse air pockets
  • After watering, if the tree has gone lower than it should be, he slightly elevated it by skillful movements so that the root flare is again at the same level as the ground surface
  • Afterwards he finish backfilling, gently firm soiland watering again
  • After draining the water, adds to the surface of the planting hole a mulch layer of 5 to 10 cm (2-4 in) thick pine bark or other interfering material, but take cares to do not mound the mulch against the tree trunk

How to Plant Bare Root Trees

How to Plant Bare Root Trees - Soil Level and Soil Cone for Bareroot Tree Planting
How to Plant Bare Root Trees - Soil Level and Soil Cone for Bareroot Tree Planting


Immediately after, the amateur gardener can broadly smile. The ‘how to plant bare root trees’ is for him an issue that will never be of any concern again.The thing that will concern him – and even more immediately – is:

  • To stake the trees, if the area is extremely windy
  • To spray well the trees with Bordeaux mixture

How to Plant Bare Root Trees


The References to the (here) well-planted article entitled How to Plant Bare Root Trees, are presented by the old but always good rock band of Blind Faith with their classic song Can’t Find My Way Home.

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