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Heeling in Your Bare Root Trees or Plants if You Can't Plant Right Away

When bare root trees and plants ship out to their new homes they need to be cared for upon arrival. Take the trees/plants out of the box and inspect them for any damage at the graft (on bare root trees), some broken branches are fine, they will regrow quickly in the spring. If you can’t plant your tree/plant in the ground right away, they should be heeled in to protect the roots until planting time. This can be done outside if the ground is not frozen, or if it is, put them in a garage, shed, basement or greenhouse; place in a large pot, wheelbarrow or some type of container and cover with loose soil, compost or wood shavings (but not cedar, redwood or rice hulls). Keep the roots moist but not soaking wet. Your trees/plants should be kept between 35-45°F so they will stay dormant until you are ready to plant outdoors. Plant your tree/plant as soon as your weather permits and definitely before it breaks dormancy in the spring (leafing out and blooming). If your trees/plants are potted (figs, almonds, pomegranates, olives…), just leave them in the pot and keep them moist over the winter. If it is warm enough (above freezing), plant them right away. Watch our video for more information.
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