When you receive your bare root plants...

Quality Checks to be made upon receipt of your order

Please unpack and check your plants using this checklist and the video below:

  • Check that the species, plant numbers and height of plants are correct as per your order.

  • Check that the roots are damp and in good order. The root structure of species can vary between fibrous and tap rooted, i.e. not so fibrous.

  • Check that the plant stems are in a healthy and fresh condition and not dried out or brittle. Remember that your plants are currently in a dormant state so don't expect leaves in full flush.

  • For reassurance you can scrape back the stem of the plant (using your fingernail) to reveal green underneath the bark. This represents a healthy plant.

    Peeling stem of plant with fingernail to check health

    Peeling stem of plant with fingernail to check health

  • Check the plant as a whole to make sure no roots or stems have been broken or damaged during transit.

Your trees or hedging should be planted within around a week of delivery or collection (if opting for ‘click & collect option’) from www.treesandhedging.co.uk.

During that week period, the plants should be kept tightly sealed within their bags to avoid any drying out of the roots. The bags themselves should be stored in a cool, dry place and out of the elements. Any overnight frost contact with the bags could be damaging to the roots within.

If you are unable to plant within this two week time period then we recommend you ‘heel’ your plants into the ground for safe storage. Bareroot plants will store quite happily ‘heeled-in’ throughout the winter months until you are ready to plant.

How to check your plants on arrival

Heeling-in your plants

Once you have decided where to store your plants, work the soil over to make it loose and friable.

Heeling In

The next step is to dig out a narrow trench then place the bundles of plants in the trench. The bundles should be placed in the trench in a line touching one another.

Then turn the loose soil back over the roots making sure there is full coverage over the roots. Finally and, most importantly, use your ‘heel’ to firm the plants in and remove any air pockets around the roots. This process can be repeated in front of the first line of plants depending upon the size of your order.

The plants will stay there quite happily throughout the winter period, but please remember to plant them out before spring approaches.

Removing your plants from the trench

When it comes to planting, gently remove or loosen the soil around the roots and ‘prise’ the bundles of plants out of the trench. Next shake off any loose soil attached to the roots.

It is advisable, if possible, to give the plants a drink before being planted out. This can be done by soaking the bundles in a bucket of water for a minute or two and then draining.

Once this has been done, then place the bundles of plants into a planting bag ready for planting out.

How to heel in your plants