peach tree

Bare Root Fruit Trees

February is one of the best times to plant bare root fruit trees. Why bare root fruit trees? Bare root trees provide the advantage of seeing the root structure so you can monitor its health. In addition, they are lighter and easier to lift into position.

When planting any bare root fruit tree, select an area that receives full sun and good drainage, especially for cherries and apricots. The most important thing to remember is to group trees together that have similar root stocks and spraying needs. To ensure success in planting your bare root trees, follow the tips below.

  1. Soak roots overnight in water prior to planting. Cover the entire root area of the tree so it doesn't dry out. Keep the soil moist until the tree is planted.
  2. Dig the planting hole twice as wide as the roots. It’s unnecessary to dig a hole any deeper than the length of the rootstock, typically about 12 inches. Break up any layers of hardpan that may exist in the current soil.
  3. Mix native soil with soil amendment; use one part Al’s Planting Compost to one-part native soil. Mix Al’s Transplant Fertilizer in the hole around the roots. Refer to the label for amount to use.
  4. Place the tree on a slight mound in the middle of the hole and spread roots. Don’t allow the roots to encircle the tree.
  5. Face the bud union of the fruit tree to the northeast, away from the sun. Backfill the hole without compacting the soil.
  6. Drench the soil several times allowing for settling and eliminating air pockets. Add 2-3 inches of mulch around the tree without covering the bud union.
  7. Add irrigation like soaker hoses to ensure the roots receive a deep watering.
  8. Stake the tree with two stakes and flexible tape or stretch tie, allowing the tree to sway gently yet providing stabilization.

It can take up to six weeks for a bare root fruit tree to bud and show its first flush of leaves. The average age of trees to bear fruit differs depending on the variety.

  • Apples: 4-5 years
  • Pears: 4-6 years
  • Sour cherry: 3-5 years
  • Plum: 3-5 years

Visit our website to learn about the fruit tree varieties Al’s Garden & Home carries. Patience is key but so well worth it!


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.