Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Bare-Root Fruit Trees: 5 Reasons You Should Order Them This Winter

Popular
Bare-Root Fruit Trees: 5 Reasons You Should Order Them This Winter
Berezko / iStock / Getty Images

The last thing on your mind in February is gardening. But this is prime time to prepare for a very important task: planting fruit trees.


Most people buy their fruit trees the same way they buy all of their other plants: in pots. But savvy gardeners know better. Fruit trees are cheaper and grow best when planted "bare root"—in other words, when dormant, without a pot of soil around their roots. That means planting them in winter, at least in places where the ground isn't frozen. At the very least, you should buy them in winter and be prepared to plant as soon as the ground thaws, before the trees come out of dormancy. Here's why.

1. Better Selection

Some local retail nurseries stock bare-root trees in winter, but usually they're purchased by mail order. Companies like Trees of Antiquity (treesofantiquity.com) and Raintree Nursery (raintreenursery.com) offer thousands of rare heirloom varieties and unique specimens from all over the globe. Most begin accepting orders in early January, but the most popular varieties often sell out fast.

2. Cost Savings

You're not paying for a pot and soil, so you can usually get good-sized trees that are half the cost of comparable ones at a retail nursery, even after factoring in shipping costs.

3. Faster Growth

Fruit trees planted from containers go through transplant shock when transferred to the ground and often languish until the following year. Trees planted while dormant, though, begin to grow in early spring without missing a beat.

4. Long-Term Health

When a tree sits in a pot for a long period, its roots begin to grow around and around in a circle, tracing the shape of the container. They soon stiffen into that shape and remain that way after planting. New roots will eventually grow out laterally, but like the first branches, the shape of the first roots dictates the lifelong form of the tree. The circling pattern of roots, called "girdling," is associated with weak growth in the long term and early death. Planting bare-root trees avoids this conundrum, as the roots splay out naturally in the soil from day one.

5. Efficiency

The growing season is packed with endless gardening chores. You might not get around to planting a backyard orchard when you can barely keep up with your vegetable garden. But in winter, what else are you going to do in the garden? As is often said, the best time to plant a tree was yesterday.

Reposted with permission from our media associate Modern Farmer.

Plastic waste is bulldozed at a landfill. Needpix

The plastic recycling model was never economically viable, but oil and gas companies still touted it as a magic solution to waste, selling the American public a lie so the companies could keep pushing new plastic.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

54% of parents with school-age children expressed concern that their children could fall behind academically, according to a poll conducted over the summer of 2020. Maria Symchych-Navrotska / Getty Images

By Pamela Davis-Kean

With in-person instruction becoming the exception rather than the norm, 54% of parents with school-age children expressed concern that their children could fall behind academically, according to a poll conducted over the summer of 2020. Initial projections from the Northwest Evaluation Association, which conducts research and creates commonly used standardized tests, suggest that these fears are well-grounded, especially for children from low-income families.

Read More Show Less

Trending

A teenager reads a school English assignment at home after her school shut down because of the COVID-19 pandemic on March 22, 2020 in Brooklyn, New York. Andrew Lichtenstein / Corbis via Getty Images

The pandemic has affected everyone, but mental health experts warn that youth and teens are suffering disproportionately and that depression and suicide rates are increasing.

Read More Show Less
In an ad released by Republican Voters Against Trump, former coronavirus task force member Olivia Troye roasted the president for his response. Republican Voters Against Trump / YouTube

Yet another former Trump administration staffer has come out with an endorsement for former Vice President Joe Biden, this time in response to President Donald Trump's handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

Read More Show Less
Climate Group

Every September for the past 11 years, non-profit the Climate Group has hosted Climate Week NYC, a chance for business, government, activist and community leaders to come together and discuss solutions to the climate crisis.

Read More Show Less

Support Ecowatch