OUT IN THE YARD — Bare root trees result in vigorous growth

Published 12:02 am Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Bare root trees result in vigorous growth

Trees, plants and shrubs become dormant during the cold winter months. Less daylight encourages plants, trees and shrubs to rest and put their energy into their root system. As a result, this is the time to plant bare root trees and roses in the landscape.

When purchasing bare root trees, they will be packaged to keep the roots moist. As you unpack the trees, untangle the roots and soak in water for three to six hours to prevent them from drying out.

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When digging a hole for planting, make sure to allow for additional width so the roots can grow outward without crowding. After placing the bare roots, partially fill the hole and compress soil around lower roots. Do not add amendments, fertilizer, chemicals or potting soil. Add remaining soil firmly but do not pack. Water the tree and then add mulch around the base without touching the trunk.

The soil should be moist but not saturated with water. This can be tricky in Southeast Texas since the winters are usually rainy. Therefore, it is important that the tree be planted in an area with good drainage.

If the location of the newly planted tree is subject to damage by rabbits, deer or other wildlife, you might want to protect it by installing a chicken wire fence.

Planting bare root trees result in more vigorous growth than container grown trees because container grown trees need more time to adjust to transplanting. Bare root stock will be stronger and wider resulting in better anchorage once established. Bare root trees do not experience transplant shock and they tend to have a higher rate of survival than container grown trees.

Additionally, bare root trees are less expensive than container grown trees. For more information about bare root fruit and nut trees, visit the Jefferson County Master Gardeners Winter Sale on Saturday, Feb. 8 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Ford Park Barn in Beaumont. They will be selling bare root pecan, pear, apple, plum, fig and persimmon trees along with potted roses and citrus trees.

Questions can be sent to Jefferson County Master Gardener Brenda Beadle, at bbamaywald@gmail.com or call the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service at 409-835-8461.