Bare root plants are dormant plants that are dug up and stored without any soil around their roots (hence ‘bare root’). They are generally cheaper than the equivalent pot grown plants, with a wide variety to choose from. November to March is the ideal time to plant bare root as long as do not have icy/snowy conditions, the ground is not waterlogged and it’s not excessively windy.
What Are Bare Root Whips?
“Whips” are slender, unbranched bare root trees or hedging plants grown from seed in bulk in open fields. They all have a central leader but some may have side stems depending on the species. Whips are sold in various different heights, with our most commonly sold being 40/60cm and 60/90cm. Other sizes include 20/40cm, 120/150cm and 150/180cm depending on the species. Whips are great when planting large scale hedges, and commonly used in schemes and grants.
Bare Root Trees
A bare root tree is one that has been lifted out of the ground during its dormant (non-growing) season and has no compost around its roots. It may look dead (they often have no leaves) but bare root trees are preferred to container grown they are quicker to establish once they’re planted and less vulnerable to disease and pests. There is a wide variety of trees available as bare root, and November-March is the perfect time for planting (dependent on weather conditions).
How To Plant Bare Root
Try to plant your bare root plants as soon as you get them. If this isn’t possible due to weather conditions or other reasons, make sure to protect the roots from frost and keep them watered. We cover our bare root plants with straw for example. Also store them in a sheltered area from any wind.
When using whips to create a hedge, we recommend planting 5-6 per metre. Select an appropriate spot for your plants, making sure that you give them enough space to grow. Dig a hole twice the width of the roots, forking over the bottom to loosen the soil. Aim to plant at the same depth as the soil mark on the trunk. Holding the tree or plant upright in position with one hand, slowly backfill the hole with soil. Gently shake the plant, so the soil falls back around the roots. Use your heel to compact the soil around the plant to ensure good contact with the roots.