At a master gardener symposium a couple years ago, one of the members asked "How can I save the bare root plants that come from the Arbor Day foundation or mail order magazines?". This caught my attention because I've lost plenty of bare root plants. The answer was, "Put them in a wheelbarrow for the first year with excelent soil. Then you forced to pamper them a little and you'll also be able to control thier environment much easier. The next spring, you can plant them out with a nice set of roots and a little soil. I totally agree with plants being much stronger from seed , but I'm also guilty of ordering a few bare root plants in early spring each year.