How to plant bare-root trees

Since it is now the bare-root tree planting season, I thought I would post a video demonstrating this planting technique that I made with the residents of Harbour View in late winter 2010.

We carried out the tree planting using young trees called whips and transplants, which means that they are relatively unbranched and are only a year or two old.  Bare-root means that the roots are hanging loose without soil and not in a container or root-balled so they have to be fully dormant at planting.  That is why the bare-root season runs from late November through to March when the young trees can be lifted in the tree nurseries.

The trees we used were generally in the height range of 60-90cm and 90-120cm.  Planting bare-root trees at this small size is a very versatile way of getting a woodland or area of scrub established when you are on a budget.  As the trees are easy to handle and plant it is also a useful way of establishing a large area of planting and that is why you will often see these sizes of plant and smaller being used in forestry and for planting alongside our new roads.

The plants are small and consequently adaptable.  You will notice that we did not use compost or stakes and that is because we were on a budget.  But these plants were small enough to cope with the poor soil and with proper pit planting did not suffer from wind rock.

We used native Irish tree species including Rowan Sorbus aucuparia, Birch Betula pendula, Blackthorn Prunus spinosa, Whitethorn Crataegus monogyna and Hazel Corylus avellana along with a smattering of red Dogwood Cornus alba ‘Sibirica’ to add a bit of colour.

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