Thursday, May 29

Gardening Tip: How to Store Bare Root Trees

Hi, friends! I hope you all had a great Memorial Day weekend. Would you believe we had rain, hail, sleet and SNOW at our house?! Not ideal weather for planting trees & the garden. We did manage to install a gate on the east side of our property, so at least one project got checked off of our to-do list!

Speaking of trees, I want to give you a quick update on our project. Things are going well & we are learning a lot! So far, we've 'officially' planted 25 chokecherry bare root trees on the west side of our property {pictured below}. That means we still have 175+ trees to plant...yikes! We have heeled in the bare root trees though, which gives us 3 months to plant them in their permanent locations. {The potted trees are able to be stored in their pots for a month or so.} All of the trees look great; some are just starting to bud & others already have small green leaves! Very exciting!

I'm going to quickly fill you in on how to store bare root trees, based on my experience. Because we had a big snow storm right before our trees arrived, we had to store them in a cool room in our basement that was just under 50 degrees {note: you don't want to store trees in temps below freezing!}. If your weather is above freezing overnight, the trees can be stored outdoors. I left our bare root trees in their original packaging with sawdust {pictured above} to protect the roots & maintain moisture. I placed the entire tree package in one of my husband's large homebrewing pots, and lightly watered them occasionally to make sure the roots didn't dry out. But make sure you do not store bare root trees directly in a bucket of water - it will cause the roots to rot and the trees will die.

Bare root trees should only be stored for up to 48 hours upon delivery {according to our local Extension Office}. If bare root trees aren't going to be planted for more than two days in their permanent location, they should be heeled in. Honestly, we ended up storing ours for 10-12 days because of the snow, and finished heeling them in this weekend. The tree roots looked fine, and they started getting green buds & leaves. I'll write another post for you on how to heel in bare root trees.

Chokecherry Trees Planted {FYI: That is the neighbor's ugly fence on the right, not ours!}

If you have a question or tip to add, please leave a comment below! 

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