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We will begin shipping bare root varieties in November. Order NOW to secure the varieties you want. Looking for a container tree and live in WI, IA, IL or MN? We have hundreds of varieties available and ready to ship immediately.
We will begin shipping bare root varieties in November. Order NOW to secure the varieties you want. Looking for a container tree and live in WI, IA, IL or MN? We have hundreds of varieties available and ready to ship immediately.

My Trees Just Arrived What's Next...

Roots to Fruits Bare Root Fruit Trees

Unpacking

We ship your bare root trees wrapped in plastic with the roots wrapped in wet newspaper to keep the roots moist. As soon as your tree is delivered, carefully remove the outer cardboard box and double check to make sure the order is complete and that nothing has been damaged in transit. Note: If you’ve ordered more than one item, smaller items may be bundled with the tree. Please notify us immediately (within 3 days) if there are any errors or damage. 

Should You Plant Your Tree?

If the temperature outside is above freezing and the ground is not frozen, you can plant your tree right away. Don’t worry if the temperature drops below freezing after the tree is planted. Most cold hardy trees won’t be hurt by the cold, as the roots will be protected and insulated by the soil.

Not Ready to Plant Your Tree Yet?

If the ground is still frozen or it’s below freezing outside, or even if you aren’t quite ready to plant your tree, there are a few things you can do to keep your tree safe for a week or so until you’re ready to plant it. The most important thing is to keep the roots moist and to keep the tree in a cool, dark place (between 35 and 45 degrees is ideal). An unheated garage is a good choice. Just pack the roots in moist wood shavings or potting soil to keep them from drying out. If the ground isn’t frozen, you can even dig a hole big enough to accommodate the root ball and cover the roots with soil until you’re able to plant it in its final spot. The goal is to keep the tree away from sunlight and heat so that it stays dormant and the leaves and buds don’t start to open up. If it’s going to be more than a week before you can plant your tree, we recommend that you reschedule delivery.

Remove the Packaging

Your bare root tree will be shipped with wet newspaper around the roots to keep them moist. When you’re ready to plant the tree, carefully remove this newspaper and set it aside. It can be used as mulch above ground, but should not be planted in the hole you dig for the tree.

Soak the Roots in Water

Before you plant your bare root trees: soak the tree’s roots in a bucket or large tub of water for 3 to 4 hours. Do not soak the roots for more than 24 hours.

Dig a Hole

Dig a planting whole that’s about twice as wide as the current root system and the same depth as the roots. You don’t want an extremely deep hole because the tree will sink into the ground. You should aim to plant in soil that is moist and crumbly--you can use the shovel to break up the soil in the bottom of the hole--so the roots have somewhere to grow. 

Place the Tree in the Hole

Trim any broken roots and branches. Then gently place the roots in the hole you’ve dug and spread them out to encourage them to grow out. You can even make a little mound in the bottom of the hole and spread the roots over and down it. Make sure the tree is standing up straight so that it grows directly up and not at a slant. If you’re planting a fruit tree, make sure the graft union is about 2-3 inches above the soil. This is paramount. The graft union MUST remain above the soil. You can find the graft by looking for a bump towards the bottom of the trunk. If it’s a warm, sunny day, keep the roots of each tree covered and moist until you’re ready to plant the tree.

Fill the Hole with Soil and Soil Amendments

Refill the hole with the soil you removed when digging the hole. Add any soil amendments such as fertilizer tablets or soil moist granules. Fruit trees might not need fertilizer tablets or soil moist depending on your type of soil and grow perfectly well in normal yards. These additions complement the growth of the tree. Then, gently pat out any air pockets. Do not put any other ingredients in the hole other than the tablets or soil moist as this can burn the roots. 

Water the Tree

Thoroughly water the tree to help it settle into its new home. Water each tree 10 gallons a week unless it rains.

  • Before you plant your bare root trees: soak the tree’s roots in a bucket or large tub of water for 3 to 4 hours. Do not soak the roots for more than 24 hours.
  • Dig a hole that is big enough to accommodate the tree’s current root system with room to grow.
  • Place the roots in the hole and spread them out to encourage them to grow outward.
  • Make sure the tree is standing up straight so that it grows directly up and not at an angle.
  • If you’re planting an apple or a fruit tree, keep the graft union 2-3 inches above the soil. You’ll be able to identify the graft as a bump at the lower end of the trunk.
  • Refill the planting hole with the soil you removed when digging the hole.
  • Add any other soil amendments such as soil moist or fertilizer tablets. 
  • Gently pat out any air pockets from the soil once the hole is filled with soil.
  • Thoroughly water your newly planted tree.
  • Water 10 gallons a week per tree unless it rains