What are the differences between bare root, cell grown and containerised plants?

Bare root plants

As their name suggests, bare root plants are supplied with their roots exposed. We are key advocates of bare root planting and the benefits that they provide.

The benefits of bare root plants include:

  • Cost effective - usually cheaper than equivalent cell or containerised plants.
  • Easy to transport and plant given each plant weighs very little.
  • Larger root mass per plant compared to rootballed trees.
  • Wide selection of species are available in bare root form.
  • Bare root plants take less time to adapt to local soil which speeds up growth.

The only real disadvantage of bare root plants is that they can only be planted whilst dormant, limiting their planting window from November to April.

Cell grown plants

Cell grown plants are plants that are grown in small containers referred to as cells – these cells contain compost into which seeds are sown.

The benefits of cell grown plants include:

  • All year round planting.
  • Excellent survival rates.
  • Root systems are protected by compost to prevent damage when planting.
  • Uniformity allows for ease of planting, even by inexperienced planters.
  • No heeling in required.
  • Plants will normally grow straightaway after planting.

Containerised plants

The convenience of containerised plants make them a very popular selection. Containers come in a range of sizes; we currently offer small P9 (9cm) containers.

The benefits of containerised plants include:

  • All year round planting.
  • Relatively easy to transport.
  • No heeling in required and the plants do not have to be planted immediately, which offers great flexibility.
  • Root systems are protected by compost to prevent damage when planting.