Winter is the Time to Plant Bare-Root Fruit Trees
By Joshua Burman Thayer
There’s a lot going on in a northern forest mid-winter, but you don’t need to head into the wilderness to see it. Just look around. Similar things are happening everywhere in nature, even in the mild and urbanized East Bay. Take, for instance, those fallen leaves. They serve many functions:
- They return carbon and nutrients to the ground.
- They create a layer of mulch that insulates the soil from the cold.
- When the canopy trees are bare, the heat of the winter sun can penetrate into the soil below, spawning the growth and flowering of understory herbs and shrubs.
Planting fruit trees can give your yard those advantages, and winter is a good time to plant or prune, since dormant trees are less likely to suffer from the stress.
You’ll probably get your new fruit trees in bare-root form. These are plants that have been dug from the ground when they were dormant (leafless), and their roots have been shaken free of soil, so the trees are lighter and thus easier to transport. These bare-root trees will remain dormant until warmer weather and longer days coax them from their winter rest.… Read More