Potting a bareroot tree?

Orchardman(7)May 17, 2014

I have a bareroot tree suppose to arrive Monday. I am thinking about potting it till the leaves emerge then plant it instead of planting it right then. Anybody else did that?

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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

Plant it immediately. Any delay only reduces the chances of survival. If you pot it you are going to damage some of the new roots when it's moved.

If you are worried about sun damage when planting this late and are thinking you'll shade it some in the pot, there are things you can do planted in-ground. Paint the trunk white, 50:50 latex interior paint:water mix. If it's already leafing out shade it some the first week. Like afternoon shade not all day. Gradually increase sun.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2014 at 11:38AM
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fireduck(10a)

It is always best to have deciduous trees come out of dormancy...and not get moved thereafter. However, if you need to pot up first (why?)...then provide adequate room for rootball and maintain moisture in rootzone. You can manipulate your in-ground planting to coincide with an incoming cool weather pattern. goodluck

    Bookmark   May 17, 2014 at 1:49PM
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Orchardman(7)

Thanks I was just going to keep it close to the house so I could make sure it lived. I don't like to get bare root trees but that's the only way I could find a pixie crunch. There is a bad cold front here right now the highs has only been in the 50's the last couple of days maybe it will stay like that till I get it in the ground.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2014 at 2:41PM
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alan haigh

Bare root trees are not less sturdy than potted ones, they are more so, and a tree in a pot requires more care because potting medium dries out so quickly.

Do a good job of planting it and it will survive most any weather event (keep ground weed free for at least a couple feet from the trunk- preferably with mulch). Maybe if you are further south of me (SE NY) the paint will be helpful- I've read indoor or outdoor latex is fine (what say you FN?)

I've planted plenty of leafed out bare roots in June here and they suffered slower establishment than if planted sooner but almost always survive. Some years I don't have time to plant at optimum time and heal in trees to plant much later than their arrival.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2014 at 2:56PM
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alan haigh

FN, I searched for the info myself and apparently the issue is that outdoor latex paints that contain antimicrobial agents (mainly fungicide) can injure trees.

This is a study I read where a certain brand of exterior latex paint was used to help control borer issues, but no comment was included to be careful what products you use. I mistakenly remembered it as devilifying all exterior latex paints for this use. I'm surprised if there are no interior latex formulations that contain fungicide.

Here is a link that might be useful: painting trees to reduce borer infestation

    Bookmark   May 17, 2014 at 3:22PM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

"I've read indoor or outdoor latex is fine (what say you FN?) "
No, not outdoor, herbicides and/or fungicides are put in outdoor paint. Prevent mold, mildew, moss etc. Best not to put herbicides on a young tree.

I would agree that putting it in a pot is increasing your odds of failure.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2014 at 3:25PM
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alan haigh

Herbicide, what for? Never had a problem with weeds growing on my house.

Oh, by herbicide maybe you mean any chemical that creates a phytotoxic reaction.

Anyway, they are apparently only put in some outdoor paints and I suspect the label trumpets the fact proudly.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2014 at 5:14PM
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fireduck(10a)

I am not fruitnut....but I can add that I have used latex paint (water based) for years as a sun block for my trees. It has served me well with no problems. I really do not think it needs to be micro-managed or over-thought. Just dilute it until it is very thin (at least 50/50). I prefer 2 parts water to 1 part paint. You will be fine.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2014 at 6:58PM
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Orchardman(7)

Is it best to soak the bare root tree in water before planting?

    Bookmark   May 17, 2014 at 7:15PM
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fireduck(10a)

The knowledgeable nursery I have bought from in the past...does that before sending you off with their tree. I suspect a short soaking would not hurt. More importantly: when you backfill your planting, make sure you soak the backfill soil well. Air bubbles/spaces and dry soil is not your friend.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2014 at 9:19PM
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jimmy21

If you want to pot it then don't replant it until late winter.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2014 at 10:41PM
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Orchardman(7)

I ordered a couple of plums bare root a few years ago and they didn't make it. I am really cautious about them.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2014 at 6:59PM
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Orchardman(7)

Ok it came in yesterday. I soaked it in water a couple of hours and then planed it and watered again today. When the leaves emerge?

    Bookmark   May 21, 2014 at 9:24PM
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