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Take It All Off! The Bare-root Method      of Installing   Trees and Shrubs           Linda Chalker-Scott     WSU Extensio...
Why do so many      transplants fail?Poor quality                                   Improper soil   roots                 ...
Circling roots in the container…             Linda Chalker-Scott       WSU Extension Urban Horticulturist
…will continue to circle in the landscape                   Linda Chalker-Scott             WSU Extension Urban Horticultu...
Treeburied toodeeply innursery…               Linda Chalker-Scott         WSU Extension Urban Horticulturist
…will likely                               be planted                               too deeply                            ...
Improperly installed Rhododendron                 Linda Chalker-Scott           WSU Extension Urban Horticulturist
Year 2 - Declining         Linda Chalker-Scott   WSU Extension Urban Horticulturist
Year 3 – Surviving, not thriving                Linda Chalker-Scott          WSU Extension Urban Horticulturist
Year 4 – Now with competition!               Linda Chalker-Scott         WSU Extension Urban Horticulturist
Close up – chronic drought             Linda Chalker-Scott       WSU Extension Urban Horticulturist
B&B tree looks healthy…           Linda Chalker-Scott     WSU Extension Urban Horticulturist
…but under burlap there’s      another story            Linda Chalker-Scott      WSU Extension Urban Horticulturist
Root washing reveals 10”  difference in grade            Linda Chalker-Scott      WSU Extension Urban Horticulturist
Chronically                        stressed                        street tree      Linda Chalker-ScottWSU Extension Urban...
Leaves are water stressed – but why?                 Linda Chalker-Scott           WSU Extension Urban Horticulturist
Deeply buried tree has nostorage or structural roots             Linda Chalker-Scott       WSU Extension Urban Horticultur...
Site preparationDo not dig a hole!Do not amend soil!          Linda Chalker-Scott    WSU Extension Urban Horticulturist
You have to see the roots to dig        a proper hole                Linda Chalker-Scott          WSU Extension Urban Hort...
Site preparationDo not dig a hole!Do not amend soil!           Linda Chalker-Scott     WSU Extension Urban Horticulturist
Roots need native soil to establish – not artificial, amended conditions                 Linda Chalker-Scott           WSU...
In several years amended soil subsides                  Linda Chalker-Scott            WSU Extension Urban Horticulturist
Severe subsidencesuspends roots in midair           Linda Chalker-Scott     WSU Extension Urban Horticulturist
And here it is post-windstorm              Linda Chalker-Scott        WSU Extension Urban Horticulturist
Site and root preparation Be sure to have adequate  water on site Be sure to have organic  mulch on site              Li...
Work in a shaded, cool areawith ready access to water             Linda Chalker-Scott       WSU Extension Urban Horticultu...
Remove all containers and otherforeign materials from the roots               Linda Chalker-Scott         WSU Extension Ur...
Using a hose or a water bath, remove        all soil from the roots                 Linda Chalker-Scott           WSU Exte...
Let root balls soak for severalhours if they are too dry to work                Linda Chalker-Scott          WSU Extension...
Work out clumps of soil from between    the roots using your fingers.                 Linda Chalker-Scott           WSU Ex...
Bare-root plant is ready to install                 Linda Chalker-Scott           WSU Extension Urban Horticulturist
Media removal is especiallyimportant for pot-bound materials                Linda Chalker-Scott          WSU Extension Urb...
Use a cement mixing tray…             Linda Chalker-Scott       WSU Extension Urban Horticulturist
…or a wheelbarrow…          Linda Chalker-Scott    WSU Extension Urban Horticulturist
…or a large tub for soaking roots                Linda Chalker-Scott          WSU Extension Urban Horticulturist
Bare-rooting trees……eliminates barriers…allows for root correction…ensures planting at grade…enhances root growth…imp...
Prune excessively long and     defective roots             Linda Chalker-Scott       WSU Extension Urban Horticulturist
Problem roots exposed after   removing B&B clay soil              Linda Chalker-Scott        WSU Extension Urban Horticult...
Roots correctively pruned   before installation             Linda Chalker-Scott       WSU Extension Urban Horticulturist
InstallationDig a shallow hole only as deep as the root systemand at least twice as wide             Linda Chalker-Scott  ...
The reality of tree root         systemsOld view                             Realistic view                 Linda Chalker-...
“Real” trees are                    not carrots      Linda Chalker-ScottWSU Extension Urban Horticulturist
In the center, form a soil mound to      support the root crown                 Linda Chalker-Scott           WSU Extensio...
InstallationArrange theroots radiallyover the moundand backfill withthe same soilthat came out ofthe hole.                ...
InstallationWater in usingthe waterfrom rootwashing,which willcontainnutrients andmicrobes.                  Linda Chalker...
InstallationAdd soil asholes develop.Gently firmthe soil usingyour hands,not your feet.                Linda Chalker-Scott...
Add a nitrogen fertilizer (nophosphorus) as a top dressing               Linda Chalker-Scott         WSU Extension Urban H...
Aftercare                       Mulch all                       disturbed soil                       with 4” of           ...
AftercareIf necessary, stake treesand shrubs low and loose for no longer than one          year            Linda Chalker-S...
Evergreen trees often need staking,  while deciduous trees may not                 Linda Chalker-Scott           WSU Exten...
High stakes:                              Tightly staked                              tree puts                           ...
Staking                         materials left                         on too long                         will girdle    ...
Trees without taper cannot stand        without support                Linda Chalker-Scott          WSU Extension Urban Ho...
Or their                                crowns many                                just snap off      Linda Chalker-ScottW...
AftercareWater your tree well during thefirst year of establishment. Youhave removed a good portion ofthe root system and ...
Even drought tolerant species will die           if not irrigated      during root establishment                   Linda C...
AftercareKeep it simple and natural:do not crown prune or add expensive, but pointless,  transplant supplements           ...
Success Stories          Linda Chalker-Scott    WSU Extension Urban Horticulturist
Deeply buried B&B tree…            Linda Chalker-Scott      WSU Extension Urban Horticulturist
…is establishing well          Linda Chalker-Scott    WSU Extension Urban Horticulturist
Corrected                                 roots…      Linda Chalker-ScottWSU Extension Urban Horticulturist
…allow for successful treeestablishment in 3 months             Linda Chalker-Scott       WSU Extension Urban Horticulturist
Same tree 2 years later               Linda Chalker-Scott         WSU Extension Urban Horticulturist
Same tree 3 years later              Linda Chalker-Scott        WSU Extension Urban Horticulturist
Bare root Douglas fir…           Linda Chalker-Scott     WSU Extension Urban Horticulturist
…has successfully established 4         years later                Linda Chalker-Scott          WSU Extension Urban Hortic...
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Bare root primer

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

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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