Planting Bare Root Trees and Shrubs

Bare root trees or shrubs have been grown in the ground and dug up to be shipped directly to you. These plants are shipped in surrounded by peat moss and with plastic around their roots. Here are some simple instructions on planting and caring for bare-root trees or shrubs.

Determine where your tree or shrub is to be planted . Remember not to plant any trees around or near walkways, driveways, or pipes, such as the septic line.

Determine what plants can grow there and thrive. This means taking into consideration water, sunlight, ph levels and space. Pick a tree that meets those requirements.  Remember that trees such as great white Oaks need a large amount of room, while small dwarf apple trees need only a small amount of room.

Dig a hole twice the size of the root ball. It can be done quickly with a post-hole digger or a shovel. The plant should have fertilizer added to it and the hole filled in. The plant should be immediately watered. Add mulch or pine needles around the trunk so the water can slowly be absorbed.

Stabilize the tree - Many small trees or saplings may have to be supported so that they won't fall over and the trunks will grow upright.

Planting Bare Root Perennials

A bare root perennial is a perennial plant grown in the ground and not a pot -- dug up the day of shipment. Usually, their roots are placed in a burlap bag that keeps them reasonably moist for transport. But do you know how to plant them? Here are some simple instructions on planting them. Spacing needs to be 12" to 4 feet.

First, determine where your plants will be planted.  Once this has been determined, you should note that areas' qualities. Some of the qualities are sunlight, water levels, ph levels, and type of soil.

Next, you should do some research on what plants can live and thrive in those conditions. Then from that list of plants, select the ones you like the most. Our site, including our blog, can help you make your decision. 

To plant your new perennials, you must first dig a hole twice the size of the plant's root ball. Insert the plant and fertilizer (it should have fertilizer added) and fill in the hole. Immediately water the plant. Don't forget to water regularly.

Many perennials come like this: (Hepatica, Shootingstar, Beardtongue, Spiderworts). Many prairie flowers possess fibrous root systems. These are characterized by numerous roots emanating from the root crown (where the roots meet the buds). Planting depth: The dormant buds should be one inch below the soil surface. If leaves are present, ensure they extend above the soil line, with the root entirely in the ground.

Some perennials and vines arrive like this: (Daffodils) Bulbs are roots adapted to store nutrients and moisture during periods of plant dormancy. Most bulbs produce offshoots to generate new plants to ensure longevity. Planting depth: Bulbs should be planted so that the white part of the plant is below ground, with any green growth above the soil.

Perennials (some) look like this on arrival: (Blazingstars, Jack in the Pulpit, Trilliums) Corms are modified stems that resemble bulbs. The only difference is that bulbs have scales, while corms are solid when cutting cross-sections. Planting depth: Corms should be placed, so the top of the corm and the buds are two inches below the soil surface. Sometimes it is difficult to tell the roots of the Blazingstars from the buds, making it hard to tell which end is up. The roots are dark and wiry. The buds are pinkish and often obscured by the previous year's brown-colored old growth.

Ferns and some Woody Perennials Come Like This: ( Prairie Smoke, Irises, Queen of the Prairie, Sunflowers, Solomon's Plume, Wild Geranium, Ebony Spleenwort, Hayscented Fern, Toothed Wood Fern, Ostrich Fern, Bloodroot, Celandine Poppy, Indian Pink, Straw Lily, Bellwort) A rhizome is a modified root that serves the dual function of storing plant food as well as absorbing water and nutrients. Rhizomes also act as agents for the spread of a plant. Planting depth: Plant rhizomes horizontally, one to two inches deep, with buds at or just below the soil surface. The attached feeder roots should be planted down into the soil.

Planting Ferns

Ferns look great growing along the side of a bank near a creek or pond and look incredible in hanging baskets, around house foundations (to hide blocks), or planters. When it comes to ferns, many people love them but aren't quite sure how to plant them. If you follow these few simple steps, you should be able to have gorgeous-looking ferns no time.

The first thing to do is determine where the fern will be placed. Then, decide what kind of fern you want. The fern must be able to thrive in the soil, water and light conditions of the chosen spot. Remember that some ferns require vast amounts of water.

Select the exact spot where the plant will be placed. Dig a hole twice the size of the roots and add fertilizer if needed. Then place the plant (tear some of the roots, so they spread out) in the hole and fill in the sides. Water the plant immediately afterward. Also, be sure to water it on a regular schedule.

Planting bare root ground cover

your yard or flowerbed need some ground cover? Or are you planning a new flower bed that will make use of a groundcovers ability to spread? A bare root cover is a ground cover plant grown in a field instead of in a flower bed. These plants are dug up right before they are sent to your house. Our roots are surrounded by peat moss and plastic to help retain moisture. Do you know how to plant these kinds of plants? Here are some helpful tips.

First, you must determine where your plant or bed is going. It also means considering that there may be underground wires or pipes in the area. You should also survey the area's general growing qualities, including the amount of sunlight (shade, complete, partial), water amounts, soil ph levels, and the kind of soil present.

Then take the qualities that you have organized for the location of your plant, and use them to narrow down what plants will live in that kind of zone. Once you know what plants will live there, you can pick which ones you like the most.

To plant your new ground cover, you must dig a hole twice the plant's root ball size. Then insert the plant into the hole, add fertilizer and fill in the hole. Immediately water the plant.

Taproot: Vines Look Like this on arrival. (Lupine) Taproot plants, vines, and ground cover look like this. They have one or more solid and central roots that go deep into the soil. It allows them to reach far below the fibrous-rooted plants for moisture and nutrients. Tap-rooted wildflowers like Lupine coexist well when planted with fibrous-rooted grasses and flowers. Planting depth: The dormant buds should be one inch below the soil surface. If leaves are present, they should extend above the soil surface, with the root itself completely covered.

Planting Live Stakes

Live stakes, like all plants, need soil, water, and sunlight. The best species for live stakes are willows and red osier dogwood because they are easy to grow and have excellent root strength. Black cottonwood can also be used, but cuttings from this species do not grow as consistently well. Live stakes should be planted in areas that will remain moist throughout the growing season, such as along the water line on stream banks or in wetlands. Follow the instructions below to make and plant your live stakes.

- Cut stakes from long, upright branches taken off the parent plant. Typically, life stakes should be between 18 and 24 inches long and at least three-eighths of an inch in diameter. Follow the guidelines suggested in the ethics of plant collection (below).

- Make a straight cut at the narrow end of the stake (toward the tip of the branch). At the thicker end (toward the trunk), cut the branch at an angle to make a point. This way, you will know which end is up, and it will be easier to drive the stakes into the ground. It is essential to plant live stakes with the right end in the ground; otherwise, they will die.

- Remove the leaves and small branches from the stakes as soon as possible after cutting them to keep the stakes from drying out.

- Dip the top (blunt cut, narrow end) 2-3 inches of the stakes in latex paint immediately after they are cut. The paint marks which end is up and seals the exposed cut end and helps prevent drying and cracking. You can also use different paint colors to color different code species of cuttings, planting times, and other treatments. The paint will also make the stakes visible once planted so people won't trip over them.

- Plant your stakes within 24 hours for the best results. In the meantime, keep them moist or wet in buckets or wet burlap sacks. Please keep them in the shade on hot days until you plant them.

- Soak or dip the bottom ends of cuttings in a solution of plant rooting hormone before planting. To speed up growth (you don't need to use rooting hormone for most willows or red osier dogwood. These species have incipient root buds ready to go and will root immediately.)

- Drive the stakes into the stream bank or wetland soil at least one foot deep (the deeper, the better). Leave three to six inches above the ground surface so they can sprout leaves. At first, the stakes will survive by rooting, but eventually, leaves will sprout from the exposed end of the stakes.

- Drive stakes into the ground with a rubber mallet to avoid damaging them. Use a planting bar or length of rebar to start the hole in hard soils. Use long stakes at least one-half inch in diameter when planting in riprap (rocks). The longer, thicker stakes will survive heating and drying better than smaller diameter cuttings.

- Use longer stakes and leave one foot sticking above the ground if the stake is shaded by surrounding vegetation. If a willow stake gets too much shade, it will drop its new leaves and die. If the area you are planting will be heavily shaded, use a more shade-tolerant riparian species such as salmonberry. Bear in mind. However, that salmonberry stems dry out more quickly.

- Keep the whips! (The slender twigs snipped off during stake cutting.) Whips will grow if they are planted in very moist areas at the edges of streams and wetlands. Push them into the ground as far as they will go without breaking.

The best time to plant live stakes is during the dormant season. In western Washington, for example, this is roughly from the beginning of November through the end of February. However, live stakes planted in October and March will flourish almost as well. Live stakes can also be planted during the growing season, especially at sites that will remain moist, although survival rates will be lower. Plant live stakes whenever you can; any that die can easily be replaced during the dormant season.