Blood And Bone: Enriching Lives Through Gardening

Blood And Bone: Enriching Lives Through Gardening

Your Guide To Bare Root Fruit Trees

Darren Stevens

Bare root fruit trees differ from container fruit trees in a number of ways. The term 'bare root' refers to the transplanting process and essentially means that young fruit trees are transported during their dormant stage with their bare roots wrapped in burlap. As there's no need for soil during transportation, bare root fruit trees are an inexpensive option for those purchasing from an online nursery, making them a popular choice.

Size And Variety

Pretty much all varieties of fruit trees can be purchased as a bare root tree. It's common to find apple, cherry and pear trees being sold as bare root trees, but varieties that are grown in containers (for example, citrus) are also available in this form. Bare root fruit trees tend to be sold when they are very young, so they are usually under a metre in height. This may seem a little disappointing, as you're unlikely to get any fruit for at least a year or two, but their small size gives you total control over how they are pruned and shaped. There's no need to try and undo any previous pruning and shaping, which can be time-consuming and leaves the tree vulnerable to damage if you aren't an experienced pruner.


Bare root trees should be planted within a couple of days of being delivered, as they will quickly die without nutrients and water. Container fruit trees are sold year-round and come already established in nutrient-dense soil. Bare root fruit trees cannot be transported during the growing season or they would die, so it's best to purchase them in late autumn when their dormant period is just beginning. This allows them to settle into the soil and establish a healthy root system before winter begins. Your trees will overwinter and you'll see new growth in early spring. Before purchasing your bare root trees make sure you know where you are going to plant them and prepare your soil.

Caring For Young Trees

Young bare root fruit trees need to be protected from wind rock. You can do this by securing the tree to a stake to prevent it from swaying during high winds. When a young tree sways and the soil at the base of the tree loosens, root rot can occur due to excess water pooling around the roots. This can quickly kill your young fruit trees.

Bare root fruit trees are an inexpensive way to produce some of your own fruit and are easy to plant and care for. If you'd like to know more about bare root trees, speak to a local nursery or orchard.


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About Me
Blood And Bone: Enriching Lives Through Gardening

I am a teacher at a special school. It is a rewarding job, and sometimes I think that the students are teaching me! Last year, I began a garden project and it has literally grown beyond my wildest dreams. I don't have a green thumb, so most of the time I depend on my students and garden centres for advice. From preparing the earth to using such additives as blood and bone to enrich the soil naturally, I have become quite the backyard farmer! The students and I now sell produce at a local market. Of course, I do make some mistakes along the way. Carrots are most definitely not a summer vegetable! This blog is designed to highlight the best techniques and products I discover in this journey towards the perfect garden. I hope that amateur and professional gardeners alike find something of interest. Enjoy your day.