Understanding Bare Roots

8 September 2019

It may sound like we’re stating the obvious but bare rooted hedging plants are pretty much exactly as the name describes; a plant with exposed roots, as opposed to being surrounded by soil. Bare roots are available from November to April, which is known in the gardening world as the dormant season. This is the natural resting period of plants, which allows them to be lifted, transported, stored and replanted without causing any shock or damage to the root system.

So, now you understand what a bare root plant is, you probably want to know the advantages of choosing this root type:

1. The Cost

Bare rooted plants require fewer resources in production, such as fertilisers, water and packaging, which saves both time and money. Not only this, but as there is no soil surrounding the plant, bare roots weigh significantly less and are therefore cheaper to transport. As the production and delivery costs are reduced, this reflects on the retail price, making them a cost-effective choice, especially for large planting areas or big landscaping projects.

2. The Choice

As bare root hedge plants take up a considerably less amount of space than pot-grown or root balls, nurseries are normally able to carry a larger selection of bare root plants, resulting in a greater variety of hedging species for the customer to choose from.

3. The Size Of The Root Mass

The root mass of bare root hedges and trees is larger than that of root ball or container grown plants, due to the difference between the methods used when lifting. Having a greater root mass means more nutrients and minerals can be absorbed by the plant, presenting you with a healthy, thriving hedge.

4. The Planting

As this root type is so lightweight, bare root hedge plants are easy for you to lift when planting; there is no need for an additional person to help you manoeuvre them into the ground. Another benefit when planting bare roots is the lack of maintenance required after planting. As bare roots are planted between November and April, the ground is naturally damp during this period, allowing your hedge to establish successfully, without needing to be continuously watered.

5. The Performance

Bare root hedging plants often establish quickly and successfully, as they have not experienced a transition from container soil to local soil. Sometimes, if the old soil surrounding the root mass of a plant differs from the new soil of the planting site, for example, it’s richer, then the roots are less likely to spread into the new soil, which can stunt plant growth. With that said, as there is no soil initially surrounding the root system of bare rooted plants, they are able to adapt and thrive in the new soil conditions.

Although bare roots need to be placed in the ground fairly quickly after delivery, as long as the roots are kept moist while exposed, you can wait up to a week before planting. Bare roots are by far the most efficient way to grow a hedge, and planting now will leave you with healthy plants, ready to burst into life when spring arrives.

The vast majority of our hedge plants are available in bare root form, view our full range of hedging here. If you have any questions about this topic, or anything else relating to your garden, please tweet me @best4hedging and I’ll be happy to help.

Popular bare roots: