Bare Root Trees: What Are They and How Can You Help With Them?


It’s that time of the year again! We will be receiving a large order of bare root trees at the Our City Forest Community Nursery in mid-February. It’s a busy time for us which and we need help from volunteers like you. However, you may be wondering, “What are bare root trees?” They’re exactly what they sound like, unpotted trees without soil.

One of our AmeriCorps Service Members pulls a bare root tree for root pruning. 

One of our AmeriCorps Service Members pulls a bare root tree for root pruning. 

    Bare root trees are grown in the ground at large commercial nurseries. When an organization, such as ours, orders trees, they are harvested and shipped to our nursery in bundles. Bare root trees are almost always deciduous because they can handle the stress of being uprooted during their dormancy. Once the trees arrive at our nursery, we temporarily store them in trenches until they are planted in a container.

AmeriCorps Service Members potting up bare root trees with volunteers

AmeriCorps Service Members potting up bare root trees with volunteers

    Why do we order bare root trees? They’re cheap! This is the most affordable way for us to replenish our stocks of deciduous trees. Certain species are difficult to purchase through any other means. In fact, there are a select few species that are only available in the bare root method. When we order plants that are already in containers, the risk of finding girdling roots, a deeply dangerous structural flaw, is increased.  Bare root planting allows us to fix any problematic roots before we plant them.

 

Chinese Fringe in bloom, one of the lovely species we have in our Nursery stock By Tanaka Juuyoh [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Chinese Fringe in bloom, one of the lovely species we have in our Nursery stock

By Tanaka Juuyoh [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

    How can a volunteer like you assist us during this time? We’re going to need all the help we can get potting these trees. We need to plant them quickly and there will be too many trees for us to do this on our own. The next order will deliver more than 800 trees! If we’re going to plant all those trees in containers on time, we’ll need extra hands on deck. Email nurseryvolunteers@ourcityforest.org to sign up to help between Feb. 20-27th  greener place!

 

Comment