Bare Rooting and Transplanting

Bare rooting is a procedure used to relocate or remove soil around existing trees. Use of an AirSpade for bare rooting is the best way to minimize damage to the tree’s root system and the most efficient technique available.

Bare rooting with an AirSpade can also be applied to perennial, shrub, and groundcover plantings. This is a preferred method of transplanting plant material because of its efficiency and ability to preserve fine root systems. Furthermore, bare rooting small plants is often required during more extensive root zone treatments (such as aeration and decompaction) or other site work applications.

The oversight of a certified arborist is critical during bare rooting. While use of an AirSpade can significantly reduce trauma to the tree, it is important to monitor the tree’s health and care before, during, and after the procedure. Supplemental watering is typically necessary and should be provided with direction and continued monitoring from the arborist.

Bare Rooting and Transplanting Bare rooting trees and large shrubs to transplant can require root pruning if the root mass is too large to transplant. If possible, incremental root pruning can be done in months or years preceding transplanting to help reduce stress to the tree. Using an AirSpade, it’s possible to remove almost all the soil from the tree root system or to leave excess soil to transplant with the tree. Once the root zone is excavated, the arborist can prune the root mass to the desired length. It is critical to keep bare roots protected from the sun and hydrated, and to minimize the time between excavation and transplanting.

Another application of growing popularity involves bare rooting of nursery stock prior to planting. Air-spading containerized plants or ball-and-burlap trees is the best technique to break up the root ball for new plantings. With any new planting, it is critical to break up the root ball to encourage root growth out into adjacent soils and to help blend dissimilar soils. While this adds some cost to planting, air-spading plants for new installation is becoming recognized as an increasingly viable method.

Technical Applications Bulletin

To learn more about performing air-spading procedures, tree health care and preservation read the full article below.