Bare root fruit trees are one of the great things about winter! These trees are a cost effective way to grow your orchard at fraction of the price of potted fruit trees.
Cheap, Quick, Easy
So what is a Bare root tree? I better explain before I go much further.
Bare rooted trees are called this because their roots are just that……bare, no pot, no soil, just roots. These fruit trees are grown to a certain size (1-2m tall), then dug up and their roots are trimmed back to a manageable size, to protect the roots from drying out the root ball is then wrapped in hessian with wood shavings or simply stuck in a giant tub of moist sand with a bunch of other bare root fruit trees.
How do they do this without killing the tree? Only in winter… because the tree is dormant, they are basically hibernating till spring. Because they are dormant they require less care from the nursery, also the nursery doesn’t have the extra cost of soil and pots, all of this resulting in a cheaper price for you, with a price range from $10-$40 averaging around $25. So maximize on this and get your orchard going this winter.
Bare root fruit trees are not the only trees you can buy like this. You can get almost any tree that has a dormant stage like this. Deciduous trees such as Weeping Willows, Golden Elm, Silver Beech, Ornamental Pear can all be purchased as bare root trees in winter and save you money. Oh and don’t forget the roses!
When planting a bare root fruit tree you must prune the branches back 30-50%. I know, I know its so hard when you buy a large one with heaps of branches, but believe me its worth it. As much as it hurts us to do so, bare root fruit trees need this done for their benefit. This needs to be done because when we prune the branches that means there will be less foliage in the spring and the tree can put its energy into growing the roots instead of leaves. This is important because a great foundation will give you a much stronger, healthier tree that will bare much more fruit.
Dig a hole 1.5 – 2 times bigger then the root ball. Throw a little loose dirt back in the hole and place your tree in, fill with loose dirt and a good quality organic compost and push dirt in place. Make a well around outside of the the edge of where your hole was, this will help with water penetration and cover with mulch or straw. Water your now planted tree with your favourite organic liquid fertiliser such as, worm juice, or compost tea.
Here is a list of just some of the Bare root fruit trees you can get, and the varieties within each are quite endless.
What are you waiting for….. Go Try It! Grow a little orchard, plant some in your front yard or back yard, create an edible nature strip. I heard once that in Ancient times, they planted fruit trees along the roadside to the city to provide nourishment and shade for weary travelers…..Awesome! Imagine that, If everyone had a fruit tree in their front yard to share, no one would go hungry. Maybe that’s something you can start on your street? chat with your neighbours and one of the best things about having fruit trees is being able to share your produce. You don’t have to have a huge amount of land or a farm like us to have one, flip you don’t even have to own any land, you can put it in a pot if you want! Give it a go.
Thanks for reading