Easy to see we love our trees

IT'S that time of year when bare rooted trees are available in garden centres.

Only deciduous trees are provided in a bare rooted form.

They are grown in a field and dug during winter while the tree is hibernating or dormant.

During this dormant state the trees can be easily and economically transported and replanted.

Bare rooted trees can travel long distances across the country without the expense and need of a container.

When bare rooted trees arrive at the garden centre we will "heel” them into a temporary bed of potting mix to protect the roots.

They should be planted into the ground from June to August, before the tree is released from dormancy and it begins to shoot. Any trees we still have in bare rooted form after about mid August, we will pot into containers, which dramatically increases the cost of them.

Here is some helpful information for planting bare rooted trees.

Before you plant the tree, we recommend you trim and prune out any broken roots, as clean cuts heal faster than ragged edges. Don't worry; dormant trees are not easily damaged.

Plant in well prepared and well drained soil keeping the bud union (elbow) above soil level (except for lilacs). Don't plant the tree too deep. Do not dig into clay, rather build up the site with top soil. Avoid adding fertiliser to the planting hole as this can burn the roots.

Firmly pack the soil in around the roots. Make a small depression or well around the tree to direct water to the root zone. Spread a handful of complete fertiliser around the tree, add water to get rid of air pockets and disperse the fertiliser.

Finally, prune the branches according to the instructions on the label. Cut to an outward facing bud. This is the first step to creating a well-shaped tree. Pruning the tree helps restore the balance between the top of the tree and the root system, a proportion of which is lost when the tree is dug in the nursery.

Water the tree once or twice a week until December.

Using a bucket is a good way of making sure an adequate quantity of water is applied. Make sure the water penetrates to the root zone. Mulch is beneficial, but do not mulch right up to the trunk, as mulch can cause collar rot to develop.

We have heaps of bare rooted trees at Total Gardens, both fruiting and ornamental, come in and have a look.

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