Bareroot Handling Instructions
Receiving Bareroot Material:
Upon receiving bareroot plants, check their condition after shipping. Check root moisture, if plants have broken dormancy, and check on quantity and sizes. Please contact us immediately if there are any perceived issues. It is a good practice to have the ground worked and ready, or pots and soil waiting, before your bareroot plants arrive. If you are not ready to plant, a cool storage area will be needed.
Storing Bareroot Material:
Bareroot plants need to be kept moist and at a cool temperature between 34 to 40 degrees F, with good air circulation. You can store them in a cool garage or shed for a couple weeks, or in the right climate (like here in the PNW), you can heel them outside in sawdust or soil, as long as the roots don’t freeze or dry out. Keep the roots evenly moist but not soaked, and make sure to plant before bud break.
Planting Bareroot Material:
Plants should be transplanted as soon as possible after arrival. The first couple weeks after planting will be the most critical to survival, so be sure to keep your plant material properly irrigated. Problems transplanting broadleaf evergreens and some conifers usually stem from desiccation (drying out) of the stock after transplanting. Drying winds can dehydrate plants quickly, and strong winds during the first few days after transplanting can contribute greatly to this problem. Remove or clip off most leaves prior to transplanting to reduce transpiration. As stock begins new root growth, new leaf buds will push and grow. Also try and keep them out of the sun and wind during planting.
Perennials and Bulbs:
Most perennials are a little more difficult to store then trees and shrubs, so planting as soon as possible after arriving works best. If absolutely necessary, store in a cool location. Bulbs should be stored in cold storage (or a refrigerator) until planting, but should also be planted as soon as possible after receiving.
Process and plant these immediately. Do not attempt to store them for more than 48 hours. Keep both leaves and roots of plants cool, moist and shaded until ready to plant. Removing some or most of the leaves will help reduce transpiration and increase transplanting success.
Conifers can be held for short periods if stored immediately upon arrival in an area kept 34 to 38 degrees F. Their tops and roots should be kept moist and shaded and planted within 24 to 48 hours. Keeping the needles misted after planting will greatly increase transplanting success.