Bare Root Trees FAQs

For many customers, buying a Bare Root Tree is a new experience. Here is our list of the most common questions we get asked about Bare Root Trees.

  1. What is a Bare Root Tree?These are specially growth varieties of deciduous trees that can be transported without soil when they are dormant. They come in without leaves and soil, so they are free of disease and pests, and can be easily moved.
  2. Why are they pruned before they are sold? When the trees come out of the ground, they have a smaller root system. The dormant tree will still try to produce a normal size canopy without the root system to support the new growth. The tree is pruned to encourage the development of a strong root system before a full canopy of leaves is produced. It means a stronger, healthier tree in the long term.
  3. How soon do I need to plant my tree after I pick it up?
    It is very important for the bare root tree to go into the ground within 24 hours of leaving the Garden Centre. The fine root system can dry out and this will affect the health of the tree.
  4. Will it fit in my car?
    Most bare root trees, because they don’t have leaves or a heavy bag of soil, can be transported in a normal four door sedan. It is still important to transport the trees carefully to avoid damage to the roots and the trunk of the tree. The roots are bagged in plastic to protect them and keep them moist during the journey.
  5. Can I put them in the back of my ute?
    Bare root trees can still dry out. Travelling at speed in an open vehicle can damage the tree. We pack the roots of the trees with damp shredded newspaper in a large plastic bag to keep them moist for the journey. If you have a long journey, we recommend that the trees are covered to prevent wind damage.
  6. Can I put them in a pot while I prepare the garden?
    If your garden bed is not ready, the bare root tree can be planted into a pot until you can plant it into the garden. Make sure the pot is large enough to take the root system of the tree without damage and that the soil or potting mix is free draining. If you can’t put it in a pot, put the tree into a garden bed (‘heel it in’) and then relocate it to the preferred location when ready. Try to do this before the bare root tree starts to bud up and form leaves. Follow the planting instructions provided when planting out the tree into the garden.
  7. How do I plant a bare root tree?
    We have an illustrated guide to Bare Root Tree planting available on our website and we supply a copy with every tree sold. If you follow these simple instructions, you will give your new tree the best chance of success.
  8. How often do I need to water the tree after it is planted?
    Bare root trees need to be kept damp but not wet. How often it needs to be watered will depend on how much rain and sun it gets, how well the soil drains and the tree’s location in the garden. The trees should only be watered when they need it, not every day. Test the soil by pushing your fingers into the ground about 20cm from the trunk. If your fingertips are damp, the tree doesn’t need watering.
  9. When will it get flowers/leaves?
    Every tree is different and it is difficult to say exactly when flowers and leaves will appear. Usually as the weather starts to turn and the soil warms up, new growth is triggered in the tree. This is generally within 3 – 4 weeks of going into the ground. Don’t be concerned if you tree takes a little longer. If the trunk and branches are still flexible and there is green underneath the bark when scratched lightly with a fingernail, it is still alive and should show new growth soon.
  10. I have got fruit on my new bare root tree. What should I do?
    In the long run, you are better off removing the fruit from young trees. This encourages the development of a stronger, bigger tree that is more able to produce and support a larger fruit crop. If you can’t bear to strip everything, then leave just a few fruit to enjoy but remove most of them for the long term health of the tree.
  11. My tree doesn’t seem to be doing well. What should I do?
    If you have any doubts about the health of your bare root tree, please get in touch. Send us an email with photos of the tree and details about what seems to be the problem. It is better to do this sooner rather than later, so don’t delay if you have concerns. Our trees are guaranteed and we want to make sure that they do well in your garden.
bare root trees 1

Want to keep a copy of this information for yourself? Download a copy to your computer.

Browse Bare Root Trees