‘Tis the Season for Planting Bare-Root Trees


My sister Stephanie bought a variety of fruit trees and has been busily planting them in her Delaware yard.


Hard work, but she had some help:


Bare-root trees are truly amazing. A lot of fruit trees, including apples, pears, and stone fruit, can be dug during dormancy, have the dirt knocked off their roots, have their roots pruned to almost nothing, be shipped across the country, and re-planted – and they’ll act like nothing happened in the spring, bursting into beautiful growth.

It’s still amazing to me. Trees sleep HARD!

My favorite source for bare root trees is Peaceful Valley in California, AKA Grow Organic. I’ve never had one of their trees fail on me, and I’ve planted at least a dozen. Willis Orchards, TyTy Georgia and Gurneys? Not so much. Avoid.

I have to admit, I’m a little jealous of Steph. I love planting trees. And look at that beautiful soil!

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  • My friend and I both each bought a Florida King variety peach tree from Tractor Supply. They just seemed to be begging us to pick one to adopt! I also came home with two hazelnut shrubs, because I just love hazelnuts, and five new berry canes; the canes to be planted on the old compost pile where a Mysore raspberry cane mysteriously sprouted last year (the Mysore cane patch is over 100 feet away). The Florida King and two hazelnut shrubs are in pots next to the front door for now, until I can select a safe(ish) spot for them from the marauding deer that the neighbors love to feed by hand. I also intend to prep a spot for the peach tree by planting mustard and hoeing it in a few times, as I think nematodes got my Tropical Beauty variety peach the other year (no visible damage above ground, and it was watered enough).

    • Yeah, I perpetually mulched and threw compost and kitchen scraps and mustard plants around the base of my seedling peaches. Nematodes love that Florida sand and those tasty peach roots. Good luck with the new ones.

      Maybe you’ll get to put one of those deer in the freezer some day.

  • Hmmm. I’m surprised her soil isn’t hard as rock right now. Mine in MO sure is, as it’s been a very cold winter (as with just about everywhere in the US).

    I’ll have to be waiting at least a month or so, I think.

    Good point overall about bare-root though. I’ll be planting some hazelnut, elderberry, and probably some others this Spring.

  • This is the first year I have tried planting bare root, I am praying I didn’t go overboard with it! I planted Shinseiki pear, Methley plum, Florida King peach, Hall’s Hardy almond, elderberry, and Chickasaw plum. Lord willing my Muscovy ducks I’ve had for 6 months have taken care of the grasshopper problem that has killed all the other fruit trees I have planted!!

    • Naw, no way that’s overboard. You’re overboard when your wife says “can I go out and buy some oatmeal for the children?” and you say, “no – not for a few more weeks. All the money went to nurseries.”

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