How to plant a bare root hedge

Bare Root hedging offers a great, cost-effective solution to hedging at home. Generally, bare root plants are deciduous so they can seem slightly disappointing when they arrive as the plants will be dormant. However, what you really get is a substantial root system and a decent amount of stem (depending on the age/height) and side shoots. Once you plant your bare roots and spring arrives you will soon see your plants flourish and realise you have made a fantastic investment!

Bare root hedging is one of the most cost effective methods in hedging planting. They cost less to grow and once they are planted they are left in the fields for years (until ready for purchase) instead of being re-potted year on year. As this root type is only available when the plants are completely dormant, from November to late April/early May, they can only be delivered and planted during this period (exact dates of the season depend on the weather each year).

Planting early in the season (ie. before Christmas) gives the roots the best chance to establish whilst there is still some warmth in the soil, ready to put on maximum spring growth. Bare roots need to be planted pretty quickly after arrival, we pack them in thick black bags inside our own cardboard boxes to avoid desiccation, but you need to moisten the roots, store them temporarily (in the black bags) in a sheltered place like a shed or garage (but not a greenhouse) and plant them within a few days – or “heel them in” altogether into one hole pending permanent planting.

So How Do You Plant A Bare Root Hedge?

  1. Plan your trench and then using a spade, dig out the trench and follow the lines you spaced out.
  2. Separate the bare root bundles you have bought and lay them out ready to plant.
  3. Bare root plants can be planted 3-7 plants per metre, depending on how dense you would like your hedge.
  4. Plant the bare roots in either a single or double staggered zig-zag row, again depending on how dense you would like the hedge to be.
  5. Sit back and watch your bare roots grow into a lovely dense hedge!

Please watch our video on how to plant a bare root hedge, we have used Yew hedging to demonstrate along with Rootgrow.

It is important to note that there is a failure rate attached to bare root hedging plants – 10% for most species. However, we find that when planted with Rootgrow all plants establish better, with a low failure rate.

Rootgrow contains Mycorrhizal fungi which is a living organism, essential to all plant root development, which enables plants to extract nutrients and absorb moisture more efficiently – it’s like Yakult for plants! Rootgrow will improve your hedges disease and drought resistance, soil condition, fruit and flower production and the shock caused by transplanting, planting with Rootgrow will result in triple the growth rate compared to none treated plants. Hedging planted with Rootgrow will experience better, earlier growth with fewer losses. Only one treatment of Rootgrow is needed to support the plant for its entire lifetime. For more information on the how to use Rootgrow, please watch the video on how to use Rootgrow Gel, which is what we used in our demonstration video.

For more information on bare root hedging and all other root types, please see here.

2 thoughts on “How to plant a bare root hedge

  1. Hi Steven,

    If the garden is waterlogged then we would suggest to hold off until the garden has dried a bit. If you dig out and there are water pools then no, if the soil is just wet then that’s fine to plant.

    To store them we suggest to put them in a dark, cool place like a shed or a garage but not a green house and make sure they are regularly watered.

    If you need any more advice please give us a call on 01257 788 248.

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