About bare-root plants

What are bare-root plants?
Bare-root plants are grown in the ground, not pots. Growers dig them out in the winter, remove the soil from the roots, then surround the roots with moist packing material and put the plants in bags. We store the bags of plants in a cold storage truck until it's time to assemble orders.

Are bare-root plants as good as potted plants?
Bare-root plants are just as good as potted plants, and better in some ways. They are small, so they are easy to transport and don't take up much room.  They are also easier to plant, and they grow quickly after the first year.  Finally, bare-root plants are inexpensive, so you get more plants for your money.   

 Plants arrive in large bundles, and every order is assembled by hand. Each large stem pictured is an individual tree!

What do bare-root plants look like?
Many trees and shrubs drop their leaves in fall.  Since bare-root plants are just baby trees and shrubs, it is normal for them to look like sticks with roots.  They will start to wake up as the weather gets warmer, though, so it is important to plant them as soon as possible.  They will sprout leaves a few weeks after they are planted.  Many don't grow much in the first year, but they will grow more later.

Bare roots are very compact and portable! If you order 20-30 plants, this is what it might look like.

How big are the plants I will receive?
The plants are only 1-2 years old, so they will be quite small. This makes them easy to transport! Below is a breakdown of the range of sizes you can expect. (Estimates are approximate and will vary depending on species): 

  • Most trees and shrubs are approximately 12″ – 36″ in height.
  • A few species come in “plug” form. (These are like a small potted plant but without the pot, and usually with longer roots (up to 6″ in length) ).