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Bare Root vs Potted Trees

 
Posts: 4
Location: Weaverville, NC
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forest garden building homestead
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Hello all! I just wanted to share this fun infographic with y'all. We just did a lot of work writing a post about this and I feel like it could be really helpful for you all.




We will also offer some permaculture courses next year that will cover stuff like this and more, including a brand new Advanced permaculture course (which is super exciting!) that will cover orcharding, earthworks and waterworks over the course of four days. Here is a link to our permaculture classes

Hope you all find this helpful :)
 
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Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
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I like bare-root because you can really see what you're getting. It also forces people to do their planting during the time of year when trees are likely to survive transplanting. Work with the seasons, or the seasons will work against you.

Edit ... Now that I see that in print I'm going to go and look and see if it's a quote from somewhere or if I just coined it. ... Work with the seasons, or they will work against you... second edit ... I can't find it anywhere. I hereby declare myself the winner of today's quote contest that I've just invented as well.☺
 
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advantage of potted trees
usually established maybe already fruiting
can be purshased anytime of the year

disadvantage
higher shipping cost
root bounded
not all fruit trees can be sold as bare root

advantage of bare root
best price
cheapest shipping
only during dormant season
limited stock
healthy root system no rootbound ever

disadvantage
some trees didnt grow as guarantee and no gaurantee when they dont show life by spring

i like them both if there was a choice between two i would prefer bareroot over potted
 
gardener
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Location: Central Texas zone 8a
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Fall planting is being recommended in my area, which equals potted  trees. Reason given is it gives the tree time to put some roots down deeper prior to the summer drought, increasing the chance of survival.

I kind of prefer bare root due to the pot bound root issue.

I would like to make a recommendation though. Add another column for tree by seed.
 
pollinator
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I generally buy hedge type trees- spruce, cedar, etc.- by the hundred(s), and bareroot. But on the occasion I have bought potted (usually burlapped) trees, to get a lilac or mayflower, I have taken the tree out of the pot or taken off the burlap, and then set the rootball into a larger container full of warm water. I leave it a couple hours, then gently slosh it up and down, and that removes most of the soil. If the roots are wrapped or badly knotted together, I try to gently separate them with my fingers, sort of combing them out, and then plant as I would bareroot. I cannot say with any certainty if this is better than just planting the ball, but I have definitely had good success doing it this way. I do the same with rootbound houseplants when re-potting.
 
pollinator
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Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even Soil:SandyLoam pH6 Flat
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I prefer bare root and I usually plant them in November/December, because fall planting is the best. But I have planted other trees in the spring too. As long as the ground isn't frozen, dig a hole and plant.
 
Posts: 54
Location: Hudson Valley Zone 5b
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“Only available late fall through early spring”

I don’t see that as a disadvantage. That’s when you should plant trees.
 
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Hey everyone!

Didn't want to create e a whole new thread for this topic but I couldn't find any info when I typed "Are all bare root plants organic?" in to Google.

The reason i ask is I am getting ready to purchase some bare root Ozark Strawberries from Starkbrothers.com and I wanted to know if they were organic or not. When i called they said they didn't not know since they get it from a supplier. She did however say that I could grow it organically.

This confuses me as a beginner. Can you grow regular (not organic) strawberries organically?
 
S Bengi
pollinator
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According to the old regulation after 3yrs of not using synthetic chemical, everything qualifies as organic. It's possible they have reduced or lengthen that 3yrs, I readup on it some time ago.
 
O. Donnelly
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Location: Hudson Valley Zone 5b
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Sahil - the answer to your question is “no”. Not all bare root trees have been grown organically. Most rootstock have likely been grown in soil that has been fumigated with chemical fungicides.

There are some mail order nurseries in the U.S. that do advertise as being organic. Trees of Antiquities in California is one that comes to mind.

However, I would note that even if the bare root tree was not grown in a certified organic way, YOU could raise using organic methods after you planted them, and by the time they came into bearing (several years down the road) they could become certified organic. If you are not interested in certifications, it’s just a matter of your own judgement. I grow everything organically for my own consumption, and I have no issues with the fact that the bare root trees I planted were not organic. Seems to me the five + years that it is taking them to bare fruit is enough to “cleanse” them in my judgement for my own consumption. Others may disagree...
 
Julie Reed
pollinator
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This confuses me as a beginner. Can you grow regular (not organic) strawberries organically?



You can grow anything organically, but if (for example) you are then wanting to sell (claim) organic strawberries then no, they would not technically be organic unless the parent plant was.
How long do toxins stay in the plant dna? I don’t know that answer. The standard, as mentioned, is 3 years to claim organic. The reality is that some chemicals last a LONG time in the genetic makeup. Conversely, toxins float around in the air so is anything truly pure organic anymore? Nope.
Sadly, one can no longer even be impressed with ‘certified organic’, as the regulations allow so many loopholes. I live near a market farm that has an entire webpage stating and explaining in depth that they are very much organic, but not ‘certified’, since certification would prevent some of the very practices that MAKE them organic. So ironically, while they are as pure organic as it gets, they cannot legally claim to be organic. It’s a fucked up world we live in!
I can’t say I know much about Stark bro’s. I buy any seed or plants either locally from known growers or Baker Creek (heirloom seeds). Do some serious research if you specifically want/need organic bareroot plants.
 
Sahil Budhawani
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Thanks everyone for the reply!
 
O. Donnelly
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Julie Reed wrote:

This confuses me as a beginner. Can you grow regular (not organic) strawberries organically?



they are very much organic, but not ‘certified’, since certification would prevent some of the very practices that MAKE them organic. So ironically, while they are as pure organic as it gets, they cannot legally claim to be organic.



Hi Julie - just curious, what are the practices they cite that are prevented by certification that make them organic?

Also, I just want to clarify, you can plant non-organically raised fruit trees and then later transition to be certified organic.  Again this is a legal thing and different from the personal judgement issues for individual grower / consumers that you and I both mentioned.
 
Julie Reed
pollinator
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From their farm website-

We struggled with the decision whether to have our produce certified as organic when the National Organic Program (NOP) took over the term “organic” on October 21, 2002. Since then the decision to not be “certified organic” has been easier. The NOP restricts the use of the term organic to those whose farming practices are in accord with the NOP standards, and prohibits its use by others whose practices in fact exceed those standards in producing organic food. We have worked hard to ensure clean, pesticide-, GMO-, and chemical-free produce and to practice sustainable farming techniques that are as harmonious with nature as possible. The standards set by the new NOP Federal Rule do not meet our own rigorous standards.

Because the NOP does not require residue testing, it is now possible to grow and sell USDA certified organic produce that contains high levels of toxins. Consumers will now unknowingly purchase food that does not meet the high standards to which they have become accustomed, even though the food is labeled “organic.“ We want no part of this subterfuge. The NOP is constantly pressured by large agribusinesses that spend enormous amounts of lobbying money to change standards so that they can take part in the success achieved through true organic production—including success in the marketplace which organic farmers have worked hard to accomplish over several decades. For example, under the NOP, it is now possible to feed nonorganic feed to livestock and sell the meat as “organic,” and poultry is no longer required to have access to the outdoors for foraging and exercise. As reported in Growing for Market in 2004, “The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed changes to federal regulations that would lump sewage sludge in with organic composts and label them all ‘compost made from recovered organic materials’.
The NOP does not require annual soil-fertility testing as a means of proving that farms are indeed implementing regenerative practices, or random point of sale tissue testing of vegetables for chemical residues. Testing which helped to protect the consumer and to preserve the integrity of the term “organic.” Additionally, the NOP allows agribusiness to self-certify. With the NOP standards in place, consumers will no longer know what growing techniques or residual chemicals are used to produce USDA’s certified organic produce.

With the NOP takeover and the watered-down standards, we feel that the term “organic” has been badly bruised. Now, using the term without certification can result in a $10,000 fine imposed by the NOP. Weighing the importance and the potential consequences of not being USDA certified organic against the considerations listed herein, we choose to no longer call our produce “organic.” Our growing practices will not change. We have not yet found a substitute for the word “organic,” the significance of which means and has meant so much to us, but we are working on it. At this point, we can only advise you to KNOW YOUR GROWER!
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