BARE ROOT AND ROOT BALL PLANTS EXPLAINED

By Martin Neenan Garden Creations General Manager

The dormant season – mid-autumn to early spring – is generally agreed to be the best time to plant root-ball and bare root plants.

Not sure what this means? Hopefully, this simple explanation will help you so that you can the most out of your outdoor space.

Bare-root plants are exactly what it says: plants with their bare roots exposed. That means they are sold without any compost and not in pots. Instead, they are sold wrapped in polythene, which prevents the fibrous roots from drying out. Bare-root plants and trees are typically between one and three years old and because they have large clumps of root, they will establish more quickly once in the ground. It’s important, however, to keep the roots damp (put them in a bucket of water) and plant the specimens in their permanent position as quickly as possible – except if the ground is frozen or waterlogged. Make sure they are in situ before the spring growing season.

 Root-ball plants usually come in a hessian wrap & wire mesh to hold in the compost or soil and roots.  It’s a common method for larger, semi-mature trees and conifers and other evergreens. Make sure you dig a hole that’s at least twice as wide as the root ball but only as deep as the root ball itself. Plant the root ball too deep and it could encourage disease to enter the trunk.