Bareroot Nursery

May 5, 2021

Bareroot Nursery -  \ ˈberˈrüt  ˈnərs-rē \ noun

A type of nursery where seedlings are raised directly in the soil as opposed to in plastic or cloth tree sacks.

Barefoot Nurseries in the Forest Garden

There are advantages to both bareroot nurseries and tree sacks. The two main advantages of bareroot nurseries are their ability to allow for more seedlings to be grown in one area and their cost, they don't require the additional input costs that tree sacks do. When comparing nursery beds over a meter squared, farmers are able to plant 200 seedlings through the bareroot technique and 65 seedlings using larger tree sacks with a 12 cm diameter. If many trees will need to be transplanted in a location far from vehicle access, bare root trees are much easier to transport, as they are lighter and a large quantity can be bundled up and carried without any extra soil weight.

Bareroot nurseries do have some drawbacks. In order to establish a bareroot nursery with the optimal soil quality, a labor-intensive technique known as double digging is required. Transporting seedlings from a bareroot nursery to the place of outplanting takes care, as the roots are exposed for a period of time and can dry out. It is extremely important to properly plan out transplanting seedlings from bareroot nurseries so that the seedling’s journey is short and stress free, this includes protecting roots with a mud slurry and moist cloth.

Want to learn more about agroforestry? Sign up for our FGTC newsletter here. Plus, join our FGTC Facebook Group to get connected with a global community of agroforesters.