Bare-Root Fruit Tree Planting Guide

Bare root pear tree

We supply most of our tress and shrubs ‘bare-root’ – dormant, with no leaves and with the roots out of the soil. This is the traditional and best way to supply during the winter months. for the best results, follow our guide on planting your bare-root fruit tree.

Please Note: If you’ve ordered a collection, they will likely be packed together, root-wrapped and all of the plants in one poly-bag. Please open the bag to check your order on receipt – it can look like just one plant at first glance but in the vast majority of cases it is all of them – we wouldn’t want you to waste a phone call!

Soak First

Before planting bare-root fruit trees on receipt, soak the roots in water for at least two hours (overnight is better). If you can’t plant straight away, they should be fine for up to 2 weeks if left in a cool, dark, frost-free place – keep the bag around the roots with some water inside. Don’t worry if the roots have been cut quite harshly – this is done to encourage new root growth.


red apples on a tree
  • Select an appropriate spot with enough space to allow your plants to grow.
  • Dig a hole twice the width of the roots, forking over the bottom to loosen the soil. Then add some good quality fertiliser.
  • Plant at the same depth as the soil mark – if it has been grafted, the graft point (a noticeable ‘knuckle’ at the bottom of the trunk) must be at least 10cm (4”) above soil level.
  • Hold the tree or plant in an upright in position with one hand. Slowly backfill the hole with soil, so the soil falls back around the roots.
  • Compact the soil around the plant to ensure good contact around the roots. If you’re planting into pots, place some rocks, stones or gravel in the bottom for drainage and ballast.
  • Use the best compost you can buy and some sand or grit for drainage.

For all trees, we recommend using our Tree Planting Kits. This includes – stakes, rubber ties and Mycorrhizal fungi, proven to aid tree growth and development.

  • Push 40cm of each stake into the soil next to each tree.
  • Make a figure of eight around both the trunk and stake with a tie and fasten it off.
  • Spread Mycorrhizal granules in contact with the roots when planting.
Mini Orchard Fruit Tree Collection How To Plant


Water the plants at least weekly – especially in dry weather – for the first 8 weeks.

When the soil and air warm up in spring, you should see the plant burst into life. Do not allow plants to dry out. Once established for one season, they will become much more tolerant to a lack of water, as the root system develops.


There is no real need to prune trees and shrubs for the first couple of years. Prune established trees in summer using good quality secateurs, removing weak shoots and overlapping branches, to create an evenly spaced bowl shape. Cut branches back by roughly a third. Pruning fruit trees in summer after the fruit has set will encourage more fruit growth the following year. If you want to encourage your tree to grow, the best time to prune is autumn/winter.