Hi all! Have just spent a fair bit of Christmas present money on 2 x Rowan Trees (6ft) and 1 x Pyrus Chanticleer (6ft) - all three delivered bare root
Also bought 10 x Griselinia which are in 2L pots and 80-100cm tall.
So, I obviously want to get these planted out ASAP but I am concerned about frost or that the ground just isn’t warm enough. The trees are dormant obviously but I don’t want to kill it all off by planting too early. Does anyone have any advice about planting out so early and also the best way to store them in the meantime if it’s too early please? They will be going in a semi shaded part of the garden along the fence line, south facing.
I currently have all of them stacked at the side of the house, in a sheltered but not sunny spot. Have stood the Griselinia in a couple of short cardboard boxes and I had some packing paper which I’ve tucked around and underneath the pots to try and protect them from the worst of the cold. The trees currently are in black plastic around the roots and with bubble wrap up the stems. Should I remove this plastic? I have them stood in a trug to stop them falling over but there isn’t any water in it currenlyy, again I didn’t want that to freeze and kill the roots.
I am in the North West just ourside Chester if that helps with climate!
Get the trees in the ground as soon as you can. Dried out roots or suffocating in a plastic bag will be far worse for them than a bit of frost when they are in the ground - they are all very hardy. If the ground they are to go in is ready now and the soil is not actually rock hard, unwrap the tree roots, stand them in a bucket of water for an hour or two, then get them planted PDQ. If you can't plant them where you want them then 'heel them in' - i.e. plant them somewhere that the soil is loose enough for you to be able to lift them again easily when you've done your prep (I tend to use the veg beds that are cleared at this time of year as a temporary holding position.) But definitely don't leave them in the plastic, out of the ground.
The griselina, if they are in pots with compost can wait if you protect the pots from freezing solid and water only lightly. it's not a plant I know but I think they are fairly hardy, in which case there's no reason to delay planting them unless the soil is so hard you can't actually dig a decent hole for them - most hardy shrubs are OK to plant now, but someone who knows that plant may come along shortly and disagree.........
Well I am not going to disagree with anything you have said rasingirl
Plant as soon as possible unless, as RG says, the ground is frozen or water logged.
Unwrap the bare roots and soak them in a bucket of cold water for an hour or two to rehydrate them while you prepare the planting holes. Plant them to the depth of their original soil mark and water well. Mulch with some good compost and keep them watered during this first year of growth.
If in pots, do as RG says and keep the pots insulated from frost. Just before planting, dunk the pots in a bucket of water till no more air bubbles appear and then plant at teh same depth as before and water as above.
"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
Thanks everyone. Going to get the trees at least in tomorrow as only fine rain forecast and it’s been quite wet so the soil should be soft and well watered. Have got some Rootgrow as recommended by the supplier of the trees also. If we have time and it’s not torrential, might put the Griselinia in also!
Thanks again and happy gardening!
Also, current best advice on planting hole is no deeper than the roots but make the hole twice as wide as it needs to be to give the roots space to spread. I've heard square holes too now to make the roots work hard to anchor the tree. I read in a book on garden myths that there's no need to stake trees unless they're really exposed. If you must stake only secure it a third of the way up and only for a year at most.
I like the advice on wide holes -- I wonder whether I lost my Japanese wineberry due to the dug out and compost-refilled hole becoming a sump. Something to watch out for if you dig a hole in even mildly compacted soil.