Examples of native bare root plant material

"Grading" is not subject to opinion when dealing with a professional nursery.

Mid Atlantic Natives/Superior Nursery grades according to USDA and ANLA standards.

Our bare root plant material is graded as #1 quality. Perennials are 1-2 years old, trees and shrubs are 2 year plus.

Why does this grading standard matter?

Purchasing plants that are not graded from those that do not follow these standards means you could end up with substandard roots, mishapen, unhealthy branching, generally poor quality and the eventuality of having wasted your time and money.

USDA Bareroot Plant Material Specifications:
Optimal sizes for bareroot material includes a shoot to root ratio of 1:1 to 1:2. Shoots should not be less than 8 inches tall with a basal diameter of not less than 3/8-inch. Each bareroot plant should have at least four, 8-inch long, fibrous roots originating from the stem.

All plant material should have a well-branched root system characteristic of the species and adequately sized to support vigorous plant growth under prevailing site conditions. A minimum of one- year-old deciduous stock (1-0) and two-year-old conifer stock (2-0) is recommended. Beware of plant materials labeled "conservation grade". In many cases, conservation grade is the poorest material available.

(USDA) Plant Materials Technical Note NRCS April 2002

Our bare-root native trees, shrubs, perennials, ferns, grasses & wetland plants can be planted any time the soil is not frozen but before a plant is in full flush. Planting bare root is not recommended May-September.

Plants are at least 1- 2 years old.

Weather depending b
are root items are shipped October-April. Orders can be taken any time to reserve the plants for you!

Cornus florida
(18-24" #1 grade)
American Dogwood







Selecting bare root plants offers advantages over container grown plants in a number of ways, bare root plants are normally much less expensive than container-grown plants, are easier to inspect for damage or disease and weigh less when considering shipping and handling.

If handled and planted properly, bare root plants grow just as well as those grown in containers. Keep in mind, because the roots are bare, they dry out very quickly and it is important to get them planted as soon as possible after buying, or store them correctly until ready for planting.


  



Bare root plants do better when planted on a mound because it reduces root and crown rot.

To plant, dig a hole that is two times the width of the plant's roots and a little deeper than where you see the soil level mark on the trunk (this will be a darker color). This extra depth will allow a mound of soil to be built on which the roots will be placed and spread out evenly. Remember, the most fragile part of a tree or shrub is the crown – the transitional section where the trunk joins the roots – and it should never have water puddling against it. Planting a little high or on a mound prevents this and also allows for some soil settling.