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Cold Weather Planting and Storage – Rootballed Trees and Hedge Plants

As part of our advice series on planting and storage in cold weather, here we’ll briefly outline the correct way to protect your rootballed trees and hedge plants while planting this winter.

Your tree will arrive with hessian and/or wire around the roots, which are lifted from the field with soil around them. Planting during cold weather is fine as long as the soil can be dug and it isn’t frozen or waterlogged. Don’t plant when there’s snow on the ground, and make sure the ground isn’t frozen even after the snow thaws.

Until it’s time to plant keep the rootball under cover, away from the drying winds and frost. Covering them with straw will insulate them from the cold, and the hessian keeps the rootball from drying out.

Once the ground has thawed it’s time to plant. Make sure you’ve chosen an appropriate site, and consider mixing in some planting compost to improve the soil. Feel free to refer to our post on Successful Tree Planting for more information. Be sure not to remove the hessian or wire surround when you plant, since this still serves to retain moisture in the rootball during early months, and will safely rot away eventually.

Remember, frost can make water unavailable to evergreen plants and they may wilt, so check the soil moisture after the thaw and water if necessary. Lagging the pot may prevent soil freezing in the container at all. Follow these instructions and your rootballed trees and hedge plants should be off to an excellent and healthy start in your garden.

Cold Weather Planting and Storage:

Shrubs and Trees in Containers

Bare Root Plants

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