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Planting bare root trees

planting bare root treesSpread out roots of bare root trees before backfilling. Be sure there are no kinks, folds or circling roots. Roots should be positioned more-or-less straight out from the trunk.

Some people lay the roots over a mound of firmly-packed soil in the center of the planting hole and carefully place soil between groups of roots; others gently wash soil between roots.

In either case, position the top-most root where it meets the trunk just under the soil surface (see illustration at right). The shallowest roots usually are positioned about parallel with the soil surface, or angled down slightly. Be careful not to injure roots with the shovel used for backfilling. If practical, use your hands to backfill to avoid skinning the bark.

Do not break or bend roots a great deal unless a root is kinked or folded back on itself. The planting hole should be dug wide and deep enough to accommodate roots without bending them or screwing them into the hole.

planting a bare root treeDo not cut roots to fit into the planting hole. Dig a long hole if necessary to hold long roots. There is no need to trim or cut any roots unless a portion is obviously dead, injured, or dried up. Cut broken roots cleanly with a sharp pruning tool. Pruning roots indiscriminately at planting will not stimulate root regeneration, will not help in overcoming transplant shock, and is not recommended. Only adequate irrigation and air management can help overcome transplant shock.