Planting fruit trees can be a fun and rewarding experience, but it can also be a challenging task. One of the most popular ways to plant fruit trees is through bare root planting. Bare root planting involves planting a tree without soil around the roots. In this article, we will discuss the basics of bare root fruit tree planting and some tips to help you succeed.
What is Bare Root Planting?
Bare root planting is a method of planting a tree without soil around the roots. Instead, the roots of the tree are wrapped in moist material such as burlap or plastic and then shipped to the buyer. The tree can then be planted directly into the ground without the need for a container or soil around the roots.
Advantages of Bare Root Planting
There are several advantages to bare root planting over traditional planting methods. Firstly, bare root trees are often less expensive than container-grown trees. This is because they are easier to ship and store, and they take up less space. Secondly, bare root trees tend to establish faster than container-grown trees. This is because the roots of bare root trees are less likely to become root-bound, which can slow down growth. Lastly, bare root trees have a higher success rate than container-grown trees, as they are more likely to adapt to their new environment.
When to Plant Bare Root Trees
The best time to plant bare root trees is in the late fall or early spring, when the tree is dormant. This is because the tree is less likely to experience transplant shock during these times. It is important to plant the tree as soon as possible after receiving it, as the roots can dry out quickly if left exposed to the air.
Preparing the Planting Site
Before planting your bare root tree, you will need to prepare the planting site. Choose a site that receives at least 6 hours of sunlight per day and has well-draining soil. Remove any weeds or grass from the site, and dig a hole that is twice as wide and deep as the root system. Mix in some organic matter such as compost or aged manure to help improve soil structure and fertility.
Planting the Tree
Once you have prepared the planting site, it’s time to plant the tree. If your tree has been shipped with the roots wrapped in burlap, remove the burlap before planting. If the roots are wrapped in plastic, leave the plastic on as it will decompose over time. Place the tree in the hole and backfill with soil, making sure the roots are spread out evenly. Gently tamp down the soil to remove any air pockets, and water the tree thoroughly. Add a layer of mulch around the base of the tree to help conserve moisture and suppress weeds.
Caring for Your Bare Root Tree
After planting your bare root tree, it is important to care for it properly to ensure its success. Water the tree regularly, especially during hot and dry weather. Fertilize the tree with a balanced fertilizer in the spring and fall to promote healthy growth. Prune the tree regularly to remove any dead or diseased branches and to shape the tree. Protect the tree from pests and diseases by using organic insecticides and fungicides when necessary.
Bare root fruit tree planting is a great way to add fruit trees to your garden or orchard. By following these tips and guidelines, you can ensure that your tree has the best chance of success. Remember to plant your tree in the right location, prepare the planting site properly, and care for your tree regularly. With a little bit of effort and patience, you can enjoy fresh fruit from your own backyard for years to come.