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Bare root trees

Traditionally, deciduous bare root trees were available only when dormant, and in a limited size range, typically 2-inch trunk diameter or less. A recent innoation changed this. Bare root trees can be placed into a bed of gravel (commonly referred to as the Missouri gravel bed after Chris Starbuck in Missouri who developed the system) 2 to 3 feet deep and maintained with irrigation throughout the summer until it is purchased. Trees can now be successfully planted from the gravel bed into the landscape throughout the summer and into fall.

Bare root is the least expensive method of purchasing trees. Unlike all other harvesting methods, the root system can be thoroughly inspected for defects because there is no soil or media covering roots. They are also much easier to handle at the planting site than B&B. Bare root trees are very sensitive to drying if not properly stored and shipped. If provisions are made to keep roots in the shade and moist during storage and transport, and they are regularly irrigation after planting, they perform as well as trees from other production methods (Hensley 1994). Some nurseries are dipping roots in an absorbent gel in an effort to improve durability. Nina Bassuk at Cornell University has spearheaded this work and reports a tremendous improvement in tree survival.

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bare root tree