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Storing bare root trees this late...

 
Posts: 8
Location: Florence, CO
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Hey y’all, I’ve got 7 bare root figs and hazelnuts showing up today, shipping took longer with the pandemic I suppose and I’m worried about them since it’s so late in the season. A little background: the trees are from TyTy nursery out of Georgia (they don’t have the best reviews but I figured I’d go with the 1-2’ trees and hopefully have better luck than 5’ trees from them). My orchard is in high arid desert in Colorado (near Canon City). Due to the extreme climate differences from their origin location and my orchard I am already planning on using shade cloth, mulch, and drip irrigation all summer and am hoping this combo will give them a fighting chance, the sun is brutal out here! I can’t make it out to the orchard to plant until Saturday so they’re just going to be chilling in the city with me for 4 days. I usually plant much earlier in the season and allow trees to come out of dormancy gently but now the trees are going to have to battle between getting established, heat, and the grasshoppers (don’t even get me started on grasshoppers).
Okay so my question is: Should I store the bare root trees outside in a bucket of moist sand/mulch to acclimate the trees to this climate while they are waiting the 4 days to be planted? If I were planting in April I would just store them in the packing in my crawl space for the week but since it’s basically summer I’m worried the shock will be too much! I really want to keep these babies alive as I am planning on growing them to feed livestock and don’t want to have to wait to start again next year. Any guidance is much appreciated. My husband and I have planted over 100 fruit trees in the past year and are still learning, always learning
 
Jessica Clayton
Posts: 8
Location: Florence, CO
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Okay they just showed up. I guess I got chestnuts too...I’ve been waiting a long time lol. The American chestnut (we’ll see if that’s accurate if I ever get nuts) is already leafed out, the other nuts are budded and the figs don’t even look like it’s possible to get a bud off of them (the figs are the dark ones).
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master pollinator
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Location: Vermont, USA
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My order from Ty Ty has a 50% survival rate. They were planted on arrival. Lost are one mulberry, a Stanley plum, and an elderberry. The other elderberry, other mulberry, and an apple (larger) are leading out, reluctantly for the elderberry.

Sorry I can’t offer advice for bare-roots in the high desert!
 
gardener
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Location: Western Washington
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I would store them out of sun if possible. If they're still waking up they won't go into shock from being planted I don't think. It's had to say.


Regardless, they will need tons of water this year since they are being planted so late. Just do the best you can and try not to worry, though I understand not wanting to be set back.


If it were me I would pot all of them up and keep them near your water source for convenient watering. The roots will still get a lot of development in pots, if not growth in various directions. Then I would plant in the fall. I think that would be more successful.
 
Jessica Clayton
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Location: Florence, CO
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Oh I like that idea! I am trying to shift our tree planting to the fall anyway. We’re going to put together some air beds this weekend at our house in the city so maybe we’ll just pot them here so I can keep a close eye on them and water them with the air beds!
 
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Jessica Clayton wrote:Okay so my question is: Should I store the bare root trees outside in a bucket of moist sand/mulch to acclimate the trees to this climate while they are waiting the 4 days to be planted?



Sounds like a good plan to me!

Like James mentioned,  a shady spot would be an ideal temporary spot for them, and in soil or  a pot that can drain well.

I haven't planted hazelnuts yet, but I planted some figs here last June or July (regularly in the high 90's). I mulched them and watered them in one good time when I planted them. They didn't grow a lot last year but seemed happy.

This year they have been growing a lot faster so far. They were small still at the end of last year, and they died back to the roots, but seem to be putting on a lot of growth and thriving now!

Figs really seem to be able to enjoy the heat here and a little dryness doesn't seem to faze them.

Hope yours turn out well!
 
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When I was landscaping,  we would deal with unplanted bare root trees by covering the roots in wet sawdust.  This would keep the roots cool.
 
gardener
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Make sure the roots stay wet, no matter what.  While you don't want them standing in water for 4 days, that's better than them drying out -- even for a couple of hours.  Wet paper towels work.  Or as someone mentioned above, saw dust or composted wood chips work well.  Best of all, if you had some well-aged compost or potting soil, go ahead and keep them in that.  Nothing hot --- if you compost is high in N (like coffee grounds), it might burn the sensitive roots.

Keep the roots out of the sun until you plant them -- even while you're digging the hole.

They're a lot tougher than you might imagine, but they've already had their share of trauma, so putting them in some potting soil or compost while you wait to plant them would be good.
 
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