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Bare roots v container pot trees

DaisypicDaisypic Posts: 51
I’m looking to plant a few trees in the next few weeks to help with privacy. I understand I can plant bare root trees now as they are dormant as well as container grown trees. Apart from price are there any benefits/disadvantages with either going for bare root or container? Thanks. 
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  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,047
    The main advantage is price.  :)
    Potted trees are available all year round, and bare root only from October to March [approximately] but they can be harder to establish in hotter, drier months, which is why autumn/winter is the easiest time, especially if it's a bigger, more nature specimen. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • DaisypicDaisypic Posts: 51
    Fairygirl said:
    The main advantage is price.  :)

    Looking online the more established trees seem to be bare root and look the cheaper option! I may be wrong though!
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,047
    It's much harder, and more labour intensive to keep trees potted long term, and therefore they're usually dearer. The advantage of a pot grown tree is that they can be planted all year round.
    Bare root trees or hedging etc, are grown in open ground and dug up and sent out. That's also why they're only available over autumn/winter as they need to be planted asap after receiving them. Much cheaper to grow that way, so larger ones are often a better buy.   :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • DaisypicDaisypic Posts: 51
    @Fairygirl, thanks. I assume both the bare root and the container grown have the same chance of establishing themselves in the ground? 
  • Jenny_AsterJenny_Aster Posts: 428
    Just straying a little off topic, I've just received 5 bare root roses, and was advised by the grower to look at their video clip of how to plant them. I watched the clip arrogantly thinking I'm not going to learn anything.... but I did ;)

    I've now discovered 'Mycorrhizal Fungi' - never heard of this before, but doing a bit a research about the fungi, I'm impressed. I've just bought 360g of it for just under £10 and I'm hoping the write-up is accurate. The roses were rather expensive and are worth a bit of extra coddling.

    Apparently the fungi has the be applied at the time of planting the bare roots and will last the plant's lifetime. 
    Trying to be the person my dog thinks I am! 
  • Blue OnionBlue Onion Posts: 2,898
    edited 8 January
    Sort of, if the bare root tree is well taken care of when it is dug up, transported, and then planted.  If the fine roots dry out, they can arrive dead or die over the winter.  The sellers of bare root trees I have purchased from offer a one year guarantee, which I have had to take on several occasions.  Pot grown trees I have always bought in leaf, and have never had issue with them dying.  

    I still buy bare root, on account of the options and costs, but do make sure they offer a refund or new tree if it does die.. also make sure they arrived well wrapped in wet medium and that you soak them in a bucket for 24 hours as soon as they arrive and get them into the ground immediately after.  Best to have the hole already dug and waiting, because inevitably they arrive when the ground is frozen, it's terrible weather, or just inhospitable for spending a few hours digging several holes.  
    Utah, USA.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,047
    At this time of year - yes @Daisypic. It's always harder to keep trees and shrubs happy in drier, hotter conditions where soil dries out rapidly    :)

    If the soil's in good condition, and the plants are healthy, it generally isn't necessary for trees and shrubs to have anything much @Jenny_Aster, but it's one of those things that's often promoted as highly beneficial to use, but regarded by others as just another money making project. Some people think it helps, but unless you did a trial using identical plants in identical conditions over a period of time, it's hard to say. 
    I'm a bit cynical about it. I've never had problems establishing any plants, regardless of type and time of year, but if it makes you happier using it, it certainly won't do any harm  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • Bee witchedBee witched Scottish BordersPosts: 875
    I've just ordered 3 new trees and have gone for potted ones.

    My ground could well be frozen and/or waterlogged for a number of weeks when they arrive .... so at least they will be OK in pots tucked up behind the house until I can get them in.

    If you are in a warmer area then bare root may be your best bet.

    Bee x


    Bees must gather nectar from two million flowers to make one pound of honey   
  • DaisypicDaisypic Posts: 51
    Thank you all for your advice, which again is invaluable to me. If I buy a container grown tree this month I guess it will also be dormant? 
  • Jenny_AsterJenny_Aster Posts: 428
    Fairygirl said:


    If the soil's in good condition, and the plants are healthy, it generally isn't necessary for trees and shrubs to have anything much @Jenny_Aster, but it's one of those things that's often promoted as highly beneficial to use, but regarded by others as just another money making project. Some people think it helps, but unless you did a trial using identical plants in identical conditions over a period of time, it's hard to say. 
    I'm a bit cynical about it. I've never had problems establishing any plants, regardless of type and time of year, but if it makes you happier using it, it certainly won't do any harm  :)
    That's my thinking, but but.... my garden is a new build, so goodness knows what's under the surface :) 

    I'm open to knew thoughts, though I do try to look through a cynical lens. The internet research I've done shows the 'science' isn't settled on about it, nor I doubt can it can ever be. 


    Trying to be the person my dog thinks I am! 
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