ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How To Plant A Bare Root Tree

Updated on December 8, 2009
The level that the tree was planted in the soil is clearly visible.
The level that the tree was planted in the soil is clearly visible.
Remove and disgard all turf and weeds before digging.
Remove and disgard all turf and weeds before digging.
Use the roots of the tree to measure the correct depth.
Use the roots of the tree to measure the correct depth.
Insert the stake before filling the hole.
Insert the stake before filling the hole.
Compact the soil.
Compact the soil.
Tie your tree to the stake.
Tie your tree to the stake.

The best time to plant a tree is either in the autumn or spring, when it is moist and there isn’t too much heat. In the spring a tree is in full growth and will quickly establish new roots, although during this time the act of lifting or planting a tree can cause a lot of damage. This is why I prefer to plant trees in the autumn after the leaves have fallen, when they are at their most dormant and can be handled without disturbing the growth cycle. This makes planting a tree a little like performing an operation under general anaesthetic, as the plant is to all intents and purposes asleep.

At this time of year most trees are available as “bare root stock”, meaning that they have been lifted from the soil and the roots protected to keep them moist.

Before you plant a tree you must establish that the variety is suitable for your soil and local climate, which can be quickly ascertained from the grower or a little research on the internet. Also that the height and width of your tree, when full grown, is suitable for the position in which you intend to plant it.

Once established that you are planting the right tree in the correct position the first step is to dig a hole. Holding the tree upright, mark an area around the root just wide enough that when the hole is dug the roots almost touch the sides. Remove any turf or weeds and discard them, they must not be planted back into the soil, as trees do not like competition and the area around them must be weed-free for their first year.

Then examine your tree to measure the depth of the hole required, it should be planted so that the first roots are only a little below the surface of the soil. In most cases the correct level is easy to find, as you can still see a mark where the earth came up to before the plant was lifted. You should never plant a tree too deeply, as it can cause the lower layers of the bark to rot and spread disease into the trunk.

Dig your hole to the correct depth using your tree as a gauge and with a fork, scrape the inside edges of the hole to loosen the earth and make it easier for the roots to spread. Holding the tree in the hole insert the tree stake and bang it into position. Inserting the stake after the tree has been planted may damage the roots, as you will not be able to see them.

The next step is to slowly fill the hole with loose soil, giving the tree a little shake to allow the soil to penetrate the root system. I do not recommend adding any extra topsoil or compost at this stage, as if the tree is to grow in this spot for many years, it should acclimatise to its new soil conditions from the beginning.

Once the roots are covered firm the soil with your heel, at which time the soil will compress down, then repeat this until you have filled the hole to the right level. Using a suitable tie, secure the tree to the stake or if using string, make a loose loop around the tree and then tie it to the stake. If the ground is dry and there is no immediate threat of frost you can water the tree, which will help it to establish the roots. This is not usually necessary and in most cases you can leave it until the drier summer before you have to worry about any further need of irrigation.

Following these simple steps should ensure that you have a valuable, healthy and attractive asset in your garden for many years to come.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      We also prefer planting things in the Fall of the year. They can have a nice nap until Spring and it gives them a bit more time to get established. Most of the trees sold in our part of Texas are sold with burlap covering the roots with some soil attached...or in tubs.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)