We sell many different sizes of trees and they come in varying methods of containment. The main types of trees you could purchase are bare root, root-washing, container, grow bag, balled and burlap and spaded. Today we’ll walk you through the different types and what they could mean for the future of your tree.
Bare root – This term refers to a tree that has no soil on it’s roots when you go to plant. The major advantage to planting bare root trees is that you have direct root-to-soil contact. This is important for the root acclimation to its final home. The direct contact makes caring for the tree easier, as the soil type is the same throughout the roots. You can see the root flare easily and plant at the proper depth, which is crucial to the future of your tree. The drawback of planting bare root is the limited season. Typically you can only plant in the spring and fall.
Root washing – A new method, called root-washing, is currently being explored in the landscape world. This method is a variation of bare root planting, where the nursery washes the soil off while the tree is leafed out and in an active growing state. This could be a huge break through in our industry because we know the value and impact of root-to-soil contact, but we feel limited on the seasonality of the installation.
Container – Container planting is really popular now because of the ease of transportation. You can plant container trees as long as the ground isn’t froze, so the planting season can be around 9 months! The containers can cause roots to circle and girdle the tree, which is a huge detriment to container planting. Make sure when you buy a container tree, you remove the tree from the pot and look at the roots. If there are larger, major roots, that are circling, you’ll need to do some corrective pruning to the roots or you may opt to purchase a different tree. Container trees will have a soil or soil-less mix around the roots. This is typically a lighter soil (dries out faster) than your existing landscape soil. Because of this, initial watering is a little tricky, as your root ball may be dry, but the surrounding dirt is damp.
Grow Bags – The grow bags are gaining popularity due to the ease of transport, like the containers, with minimal root circling. Yes root circling may still occur, so be sure to check how long the tree has been in the bag. Root bags are great for the tree roots, as they build a strong fibrous root system critical for the uptake of water and nutrients. Like containers trees, the tree may have different soil around the roots than your existing landscape, making initial watering tricky.
Balled & Burlap – Trees that are balled and burlap are first dug from the field and set outside the hole and wrapped in burlap and surrounded with either twine or a wire basket. The trees are dug during the dormant season (evergreens can be harvested in late summer/early fall) and then can be planted throughout the year. Balled and burlap trees are a way to plant larger trees during the growing season. Like containers and grow bags, the tree may have different soil around the roots than your existing landscape.
Spading – Tree spading is discussed thoroughly in our blog post https://colorgardens.wordpress.com/2020/02/21/tree-relocation
Let us know if you’d like to discuss another topic!
Nebraska Nursery & Color Gardens
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