Bare Root Tree Moving

Posted on: May 28, 2014

It’s no secret that tree planting plays a key role in sustainable landscaping. The method of planting is just as important as the act of planting itself. Modern methods of moving and replanting trees from nurseries now include bare rooting trees. This article highlights several eco-friendly ways to plant and move bare root trees.

Bare root 7” caliper London Plane Tree being moved in July of 2013

Bare root 7” caliper London Plane Tree being moved in July of 2013

Smaller trees use hydro gel dips to extend bare root tree storage time and allow more tree species to be moved bare root. When coated on tree roots, hydro gel locks in moisture and helps prevent the roots from drying out. Harvested trees ready for shipment are typically coated in hydro gel, wrapped in a plastic bag and sent to their destination. They can then be stored up to one week under cool, dark and damp conditions. This process works great for trees up to 2” caliper.

Air Spade

The air spade, utilizing high pressure air, enables large trees to be dug and transported with light-duty equipment. Use of the air spade allows much larger trees to be transplanted successfully under circumstances that may prohibit standard methods. There is almost no limit as to the size of tree that can be moved with the bare root method. It also allows larger trees to be moved into areas where heavy equipment cannot be used. This application is also great for areas were low turf or root impact is required. For example, with this method, a tree that might normally weigh 1200 pounds can weigh less than 200 pounds and can be carried by 2 men.

Summary: The Advantages of Bare Root Planting

With all the different approaches to bare root tree moving, many may wonder what all the hubbub is about. Here’s a cheat sheet for Bare Root Planting 101:

  • Less energy is used in digging, transporting and replanting trees.
  • All the existing soil stays in the original planting site.
  • More roots are in direct contact with the soil and planting holes need not be as deep.
  • Water absorption by the soil and roots is quicker.
  • Root systems can be inspected and problems corrected.

The costs of applying bare root practices to the industry are new. Many people have never even heard of this process. If you have a situation where traditional digging and planting methods will not allow a desired tree installation, contact Ruppert Nurseries and meet with one of our bare root experts.

Written by Joe Proskine