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Bare root primer

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Linda Chalker-Scott shares the details on why and how to bare-root containerized and B&B trees and shrubs.

Published in: Education
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Bare root primer

  1. 1. Take It All Off! The Bare-root Method of Installing Trees and Shrubs Linda Chalker-Scott WSU Extension Urban Horticulturist
  2. 2. Why do so many transplants fail?Poor quality Improper soil roots management Poor Root Establishment Inadequate Installed root preparation Linda Chalker-Scott too deeply WSU Extension Urban Horticulturist
  3. 3. Circling roots in the container… Linda Chalker-Scott WSU Extension Urban Horticulturist
  4. 4. …will continue to circle in the landscape Linda Chalker-Scott WSU Extension Urban Horticulturist
  5. 5. Treeburied toodeeply innursery… Linda Chalker-Scott WSU Extension Urban Horticulturist
  6. 6. …will likely be planted too deeply as well Linda Chalker-ScottWSU Extension Urban Horticulturist
  7. 7. Improperly installed Rhododendron Linda Chalker-Scott WSU Extension Urban Horticulturist
  8. 8. Year 2 - Declining Linda Chalker-Scott WSU Extension Urban Horticulturist
  9. 9. Year 3 – Surviving, not thriving Linda Chalker-Scott WSU Extension Urban Horticulturist
  10. 10. Year 4 – Now with competition! Linda Chalker-Scott WSU Extension Urban Horticulturist
  11. 11. Close up – chronic drought Linda Chalker-Scott WSU Extension Urban Horticulturist
  12. 12. B&B tree looks healthy… Linda Chalker-Scott WSU Extension Urban Horticulturist
  13. 13. …but under burlap there’s another story Linda Chalker-Scott WSU Extension Urban Horticulturist
  14. 14. Root washing reveals 10” difference in grade Linda Chalker-Scott WSU Extension Urban Horticulturist
  15. 15. Chronically stressed street tree Linda Chalker-ScottWSU Extension Urban Horticulturist
  16. 16. Leaves are water stressed – but why? Linda Chalker-Scott WSU Extension Urban Horticulturist
  17. 17. Deeply buried tree has nostorage or structural roots Linda Chalker-Scott WSU Extension Urban Horticulturist
  18. 18. Site preparationDo not dig a hole!Do not amend soil! Linda Chalker-Scott WSU Extension Urban Horticulturist
  19. 19. You have to see the roots to dig a proper hole Linda Chalker-Scott WSU Extension Urban Horticulturist
  20. 20. Site preparationDo not dig a hole!Do not amend soil! Linda Chalker-Scott WSU Extension Urban Horticulturist
  21. 21. Roots need native soil to establish – not artificial, amended conditions Linda Chalker-Scott WSU Extension Urban Horticulturist
  22. 22. In several years amended soil subsides Linda Chalker-Scott WSU Extension Urban Horticulturist
  23. 23. Severe subsidencesuspends roots in midair Linda Chalker-Scott WSU Extension Urban Horticulturist
  24. 24. And here it is post-windstorm Linda Chalker-Scott WSU Extension Urban Horticulturist
  25. 25. Site and root preparation Be sure to have adequate water on site Be sure to have organic mulch on site Linda Chalker-Scott WSU Extension Urban Horticulturist
  26. 26. Work in a shaded, cool areawith ready access to water Linda Chalker-Scott WSU Extension Urban Horticulturist
  27. 27. Remove all containers and otherforeign materials from the roots Linda Chalker-Scott WSU Extension Urban Horticulturist
  28. 28. Using a hose or a water bath, remove all soil from the roots Linda Chalker-Scott WSU Extension Urban Horticulturist
  29. 29. Let root balls soak for severalhours if they are too dry to work Linda Chalker-Scott WSU Extension Urban Horticulturist
  30. 30. Work out clumps of soil from between the roots using your fingers. Linda Chalker-Scott WSU Extension Urban Horticulturist
  31. 31. Bare-root plant is ready to install Linda Chalker-Scott WSU Extension Urban Horticulturist
  32. 32. Media removal is especiallyimportant for pot-bound materials Linda Chalker-Scott WSU Extension Urban Horticulturist
  33. 33. Use a cement mixing tray… Linda Chalker-Scott WSU Extension Urban Horticulturist
  34. 34. …or a wheelbarrow… Linda Chalker-Scott WSU Extension Urban Horticulturist
  35. 35. …or a large tub for soaking roots Linda Chalker-Scott WSU Extension Urban Horticulturist
  36. 36. Bare-rooting trees……eliminates barriers…allows for root correction…ensures planting at grade…enhances root growth…improves tree survival Linda Chalker-Scott WSU Extension Urban Horticulturist
  37. 37. Prune excessively long and defective roots Linda Chalker-Scott WSU Extension Urban Horticulturist
  38. 38. Problem roots exposed after removing B&B clay soil Linda Chalker-Scott WSU Extension Urban Horticulturist
  39. 39. Roots correctively pruned before installation Linda Chalker-Scott WSU Extension Urban Horticulturist
  40. 40. InstallationDig a shallow hole only as deep as the root systemand at least twice as wide Linda Chalker-Scott WSU Extension Urban Horticulturist
  41. 41. The reality of tree root systemsOld view Realistic view Linda Chalker-Scott WSU Extension Urban Horticulturist
  42. 42. “Real” trees are not carrots Linda Chalker-ScottWSU Extension Urban Horticulturist
  43. 43. In the center, form a soil mound to support the root crown Linda Chalker-Scott WSU Extension Urban Horticulturist
  44. 44. InstallationArrange theroots radiallyover the moundand backfill withthe same soilthat came out ofthe hole. Linda Chalker-Scott WSU Extension Urban Horticulturist
  45. 45. InstallationWater in usingthe waterfrom rootwashing,which willcontainnutrients andmicrobes. Linda Chalker-Scott WSU Extension Urban Horticulturist
  46. 46. InstallationAdd soil asholes develop.Gently firmthe soil usingyour hands,not your feet. Linda Chalker-Scott WSU Extension Urban Horticulturist
  47. 47. Add a nitrogen fertilizer (nophosphorus) as a top dressing Linda Chalker-Scott WSU Extension Urban Horticulturist
  48. 48. Aftercare Mulch all disturbed soil with 4” of coarse organic mulch up to, but not touching, the trunk. Linda Chalker-ScottWSU Extension Urban Horticulturist
  49. 49. AftercareIf necessary, stake treesand shrubs low and loose for no longer than one year Linda Chalker-Scott WSU Extension Urban Horticulturist
  50. 50. Evergreen trees often need staking, while deciduous trees may not Linda Chalker-Scott WSU Extension Urban Horticulturist
  51. 51. High stakes: Tightly staked tree puts resources into height, not girth Linda Chalker-ScottWSU Extension Urban Horticulturist
  52. 52. Staking materials left on too long will girdle and kill the tree Linda Chalker-ScottWSU Extension Urban Horticulturist
  53. 53. Trees without taper cannot stand without support Linda Chalker-Scott WSU Extension Urban Horticulturist
  54. 54. Or their crowns many just snap off Linda Chalker-ScottWSU Extension Urban Horticulturist
  55. 55. AftercareWater your tree well during thefirst year of establishment. Youhave removed a good portion ofthe root system and its ability totake up water and nutrients willbe temporarily impaired. Linda Chalker-Scott WSU Extension Urban Horticulturist
  56. 56. Even drought tolerant species will die if not irrigated during root establishment Linda Chalker-Scott WSU Extension Urban Horticulturist
  57. 57. AftercareKeep it simple and natural:do not crown prune or add expensive, but pointless, transplant supplements Linda Chalker-Scott WSU Extension Urban Horticulturist
  58. 58. Success Stories Linda Chalker-Scott WSU Extension Urban Horticulturist
  59. 59. Deeply buried B&B tree… Linda Chalker-Scott WSU Extension Urban Horticulturist
  60. 60. …is establishing well Linda Chalker-Scott WSU Extension Urban Horticulturist
  61. 61. Corrected roots… Linda Chalker-ScottWSU Extension Urban Horticulturist
  62. 62. …allow for successful treeestablishment in 3 months Linda Chalker-Scott WSU Extension Urban Horticulturist
  63. 63. Same tree 2 years later Linda Chalker-Scott WSU Extension Urban Horticulturist
  64. 64. Same tree 3 years later Linda Chalker-Scott WSU Extension Urban Horticulturist
  65. 65. Bare root Douglas fir… Linda Chalker-Scott WSU Extension Urban Horticulturist
  66. 66. …has successfully established 4 years later Linda Chalker-Scott WSU Extension Urban Horticulturist

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