How to Store Your Bare Root Fruit Trees Before Planting

Did you pre-order your bare root fruit tree? Did it arrive before you were ready to get it in the ground? There are a few things you can do to store those bare root fruit trees to keep them safe and healthy.

1. Keep them in the dark. You don’t want the sun shinning on them. You want to make sure you have air flow. You can keep them in the shade or in a cellar.

2. Keep them moist. You want to keep the roots moist. Not the tree stems.

3. Keep them cool. Not frigid cold, keep them ideally between 35-60 degrees.

It is called heeling in – you should not go longer than about 2 weeks keeping your trees in the dark, moist, and cold. However, if it’s still really really cold outside you can do this up to 3 months. Some tips for heeling them in are:

1. Soak roots before healing. This will help them to sprout out for you.

2. Dig a trench with one side vertical and the other at a 45 degree angle – go down about 18 inches. You can lay the roots down in the trench and lay them down at on the angle.

3. Backfill with loose soil and water. If you are going to do this for an extended period of time, up to a month, you want to use something that doesn’t have a lot of biomass in it. Corse sand works well, a quarter minus gravel, lava rock, pea gravel (you would have to water a lot), or native loose soil. Be sure not to cover the graft point when you do this.

If you are in the Arizona area you might want to check out the Desert Southwest Year Round Fruit Tree Calendar that Agriscaping provides by visiting