How to heel in bare root trees

How to Heel in Bareroot Hedging & Trees if Planting is Delayed

How to Heel In Bareroot Plants

In this video, we walk you through the dos and don'ts of "heeling in" bareroot plants. This keeps them in top condition if you cannot plant for some time after receiving them, which is often the case in freezing or soaking weather.

This applies to any bareroot plants, whether it's a fruit tree, soft fruit bush, rose, hedging plant or large ornamental tree.

Heel in plants at a 45 degree angle. This serves a vital purpose: you will remember that they are heeled in, rather than planted!


In this video, we show you how to heel in barerooted plants. We use hedging plants in the film, but the same principle applies to trees, soft fruit and so on. You need to heel plants in if you will not be able to plant them in 7 to 10 days of receipt. For example, if the ground is frozen. Heeling in is best done in a cool, well, shaded spot, ideally out of the wind. Between November and March, plants can happily stay heeled in almost indefinitely: 10 to 12 weeks is perfectly normal.

To heel in your plants, you will need a spade, unfrozen ground that does not water log (see the second half of this film if the ground is hard) and your plants. To begin, dig a trench that is large enough to take the roots of your plants easily. If you have a large number of plants already in bundles, you can heel them in without being untied.

If you have smaller numbers of plants, or they are individually quite large, such as Yew, or the bigger hedging Beech sizes, it is better to untie each bundle, and arrange all the plants so that their root collars are at roughly the same level. Then, pack them close together into the trench and return the soil over their roots.

You are not planting, so this can be done quickly.

Firm the soil down gently and water well. No further care is needed until you are ready to plant.

If the ground is frozen or cannot be dug for some other reason, then heel in using any container large enough to hold both roots and compost. Start by putting some compost in the bottom of your container, in the same way as you would do in open ground, arrange the plants to their root collars are all about the same level.

Then, put the roots in the container, making sure you tuck any loose ends in. Cover the roots with the remaining compost until you have reached the level of the root collar. Give the plants an occasional jog to help settle the compost around them. By the way, if you do not have compost, saw dust will work as well.

Firm the compost down gently and make sure all the roots are covered.

Put the container somewhere cold and shady; an outhouse or against a North facing wall are both good places. Water well, and leave the plants alone until the freeze has gone, and the ground is soft enough to dig.

Just to recap: you heel in bare root plants if the ground is frozen, and you cannot plant. Heel in plants in a cool, well, shaded spot. Put heeling containers somewhere cold and out of the sun.

Between November and March plants can stay heeled almost indefinitely.

More Tips on What To Do When it Snows or Freezes 

Un-planted Plants

1. Leave potted plants exactly where they are. A covering of snow will insulate them.

2. Bareroot plants that have not been planted can be heeled in, as explained above, or just put them, in their wrapping, somewhere out of the sun and wind. A garage, lean-to or the like is ideal. But under some snow, against the north side of the house, out of the sun will work perfectly well.

Whichever course you follow, leave them alone until the freeze has gone and the ground is soft enough to dig before disturbing them again: frozen roots are brittle and will not appreciate being moved around.

Everything Else

The main concern is the weight of snow (surprisingly heavy, given its light and fluffy first appearance). So, with a broomstick or brush, gently dislodge snow from plants, bushes and trees (don't forget any hedging) to prevent branches being bent or broken. Brush upwards to avoid damaging branches (drawing them down might break wood made brittle by the cold), and don't just madly shake a shrub – all that snow at the top is going to drop like a stone onto the branches below. 

Before the snow falls, it's a precautionary measure to tie cord, string or even netting around ornamental conifers to prevent their branches being pulled down and out. If this does happen, there's usually no remedy but to cut them out once the bad weather is over, as they tend not to spring back. 

Remove snow from netting and fleece to prevent it breaking. Harrod Horticultural offer cunning "Frame Saver" clips which allow netting to fall to the ground, rather than tear when weight or wind come to bear.  

Speaking of netting, are your brassicas protected? Snow isn't the problem here, but pigeons are. They will be seeking easy sources of food if the ground is buried from sight. 

Remove snow from greenhouses to let the light in and take some weight off the roof. For the same reasons remove snow from shed roofs (it can also slide off onto a vulnerable plant below). If you're clearing a path, don't just dump the snow indiscriminately on nearby beds (OK, as if you would) but make sure you avoid plants, as these won't appreciate the extra weight or the extra length of time it'll take for the heap to thaw. 

Try not to walk on your lawn or beds as you risk damaging the grass and soil beneath. We all know how those compacted footprints last long after the fluffy stuff has disappeared. 

Snow really isn't so much of a threat to plants. Far worse is prolonged waterlogging or a long, deep freeze during which they can suffer from drought. Snow insulates plants and the ground from further falling temperatures, often saving them from damage, and a gradual thaw means that plants get a steady watering as it melts.


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Heeling In Bare Root Trees

Part of my garden plan for the new homestead is to have a variety of fruit trees. Can you really be self-sufficient without them? Apples and pears are on the list for sure.  Maybe even a peach tree.  I haven’t decided whether to purchase online or look for local sales. My garden center always has a great deal on bare root trees this time of year so I’m shopping for deals.

My apple and pear tree area still needs some work and it will be several weeks before I can get to clear the area.  I also don’t want to pass up any good  deals. Since it’s usually too muddy and cold to do any planting right now, I can be confident my trees will survive. I just need to use this simple technique – heeling in bare root trees – to keep them alive until I can plant them in their permanent spot.

The practice of “heeling in” is a good planting technique to know on just such an occasion. This trick prevents the plant from breaking dormancy early and keeps the roots moist until you can plant.

  • Select a sheltered spot and dig a trench, one side vertical and the other at a 45 degree angle. Make it wide and long enough to fit all the plants roots and keep them from crowding. The trench should be about a foot deep.
  • Remove any plastic and other wrapping from the roots.
  • Lay the uncovered plants down on the sloping side of the trench.
  • If you have multiple trees, they can be closely bundled together.
  • Spread out the roots along the bottom of the trench.
  • Fill the trench with soil, firming lightly.
  • Water if the soil is dry. It is important that the roots do not dry out or freeze
  • Keep the roots moist, but not soaking wet, until you can plant the tree in its permanent place.

According to Amy Grotta, extension faculty in forestry education at Washington State University  in this Organic Gardening article, “You can leave plants heeled in for months, but I would suggest holding them that way only for a few weeks,” says Amy. “You don’t want them to break dormancy before planting.” Plants that come out of dormancy early are susceptible to frost damage, so plant as soon as possible to prevent harming your new purchases.

If your ground is frozen you can also heel in your bare root trees in a cellar or garage. Use a five gallon bucket and cover the roots with damp sawdust or use a wheelbarrow. There should not be any standing water around the roots.

If you see the buds swell, your tree has broken dormancy and needs to be planted right away.

When you are ready to put your plant in its permanent place, remove it from the temporary ditch and soak the roots in a bucket of water for up to one hour. Hydrating those roots before planting will ensure success for your tree.

Watch this Raintree Nursery You-Tube video to learn all the information you need to know to properly plant your new fruit trees. Did you know that you should trim the roots to fit your planting hole? I sure didn’t. Plus, she is really aggressive pruning the cherry tree once it’s in the ground and I don’t think I would have had the confidence to do that without the video.

This excellent article from Stark Brothers Nursery offers suggestions for keeping berries and other small bare-root plants  that can’t be placed in the garden right now. Consider storing them in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator. Place them in gallon size zip bags and don’t  store them with your regular produce because fruits and vegetables give off gasses as they ripen.  To be extra cautious, you can double-bag your plants in the airtight plastic.

What are some of the methods you have used if you have to put off planting?

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9 Signs of a dying tree not to be ignored

by Alexey | Tips Decor Workshop Garden and vegetable garden | Thursday, 25 November 2021

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🇺🇦 Help for the army, volunteers and doctors.

Are you aware of the signs of a dying tree? If trees surround your home, you should be aware of their health - at least for safety reasons.

Tree damage is a common reason homeowners have to reroof a house or pergola, and people are often affected as well.

See also: How to remove stump with Epsom salt

Knowing how to spot a dead or diseased tree can help you avoid disaster on your property. Here's a summary of what you need to know.

How to know if a tree is dying

You can tell by several signs whether a tree is sick or dying. They are pretty obvious if you know how to recognize them.

1. Branches visible all over the ground

When a tree drops its branches all the time, this is a sure sign that it is unhealthy. A tree in good shape will have flexible branches and limbs that do not tend to snap. If you see broken branches or twigs on the ground around the tree, you should call in a specialist for an inspection.

See also: 10 Trees and shrubs that do well in pots


Bark falls off

If your tree's bark is flaking and falling off, then it is not getting enough nutrients . Like the human body, the tree has skin - the bark. Problems with a person's skin can indicate underlying diseases, just as the condition of a tree's bark can indicate tree disease.

You can save a tree by pouring water on the bare spot and securing the tree's bark with tape until it sticks back. However, if the bark loss is due to an infectious disease, you will need to cut down the tree before the infection spreads to other trees in the area.

3. You can see rot or fungus

Signs of rot or tree fungus are always bad news. If you see any of these, you need to act immediately to save the tree. Unfortunately, if the damage is significant, it will be impossible to save the tree.

See also: 9 time-tested tricks to get rid of insects in the garden

There are some treatments for rot and fungus, but they may not be worth trying if the disease has gone too far. If there is any danger of fungus spreading, the tree will have to be cut down.

4. Tree leans

If it didn't grow at an angle, the tree couldn't have a slope. If the tree suddenly begins to roll, the roots may have died or been damaged. You may be able to keep the tree from falling all the way down, but don't expect this to save the tree. In most cases, by the time the tree leans, it is already mortally wounded.

Read also: 8 Important things the garden is trying to tell you

5. Open wounds

Open wounds may cause death of trees. Unlike neat cuts when pruning trees, plucked branches, large cuts or cracks in a tree are difficult to repair . Lightning strikes and wind can split trees from top to bottom and tear off branches. When large branches fall off, the tree has a high chance of dying.

6. No leaves

Lack of foliage is a sure sign that the tree is dying or has died. If you see bare branches on one side of the tree, this may indicate damage to the roots . It can also mean that diseases or pests have invaded.

See also: 40 most unpretentious plants for the garden

Dead leaves are a sure sign that something is blocking the flow of nutrients within the tree. In many cases, the damage is permanent and irreversible.

7. Termites or other pests

Trees fall prey to many kinds of pests. Beetles, ants and termites are just a few types that can take down a healthy tree . If you find them early, you may be able to stop them before they succeed.

See also: 25 Small Summer Kitchen Ideas That Will Make You Mouthwatering

But if the tree's stability has been compromised by too much damage, it's probably best to chop it down. This way it won't fall and crush anything else on your property.

8. Damage to roots

If a tree survives a root injury, it may die. Sometimes construction or landscaping projects damage tree roots. Roots and branches can interfere with buildings, sidewalks, and driveways, leading to their removal.

However, if too many roots are cut, it will be difficult for the tree to feed itself. If you have had construction or landscaping near your property and notice a tree showing signs of root damage, call a professional immediately.

9. No green under the bark

If you scratch the tree and don't see green under the bark, be careful. Dead trees have no nutrient flow, as indicated by the green layer. Lack of green under the bark is usually accompanied by dead and brittle branches, so if you see one sign, look for others.

What to do if you see signs of a dead or dying tree

If you suspect that there is a dead tree in your area, pay attention to it, otherwise it will split in half and fall. If this happens, your property or the property of your neighbors may be damaged, and even worse, a person will suffer.

You should call the tree removal company as soon as you can. Most services will be able to explain the signs of a dying tree. They will let you know if you can save the tree or if it needs to be cut down.

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How to make a bare trunk branch

Good afternoon! I’ll tell you about my experience of growing a tree-like fat woman, which is often called a money tree.

Now I have such a tree.

The height of the trunk is 35 cm. Oh, and I suffered with it!

And all because I decided to grow a tree on a tall trunk. And everyone knows what this crassula has heavy foliage and small roots. Usually, after all, how they are grown: they take a small cutting, grow six or seven pairs of leaves, and then cut off two or three internodes. The roots by this time are already quite strong and stable.

This is the grown stalk I gave to my son last spring to grow a "tree". It can already be safely cut over the fourth or fifth pair of leaves.

As a result of pruning, the fat woman has three or four lateral branches from the upper buds - a beautiful crown is obtained, which is constantly pinched.

And after a few years, this tree is obtained with a squat thick trunk.

Photo from the Internet

But I wanted to experiment and grow a slender tree on a tall trunk.

But I opened the topic not at all for the sake of crown or trunk formation. It's not that important. Everyone will decide for himself what form he wants to have a crassula.

But as a result of my struggles with growing fats on a tall trunk, I found out some interesting things.

But I'll start from the beginning of the story.

Since I wanted to get a tall tree as soon as possible, in the spring I took the most slender and tall cutting.

Here is such a small photo preserved.

The cutting had seven pairs of leaves. When it took root, I pinched the eighth pair of leaves - and three branches appeared on the top of the head.

I remind you again - a story about how NOT to do it :-) In fact, it was necessary to take a cutting with only three pairs of leaves and grow it to the desired height.

But I wanted to get a "slender tree" faster, and as you know, only cats will be born quickly.

I stubbornly cut off all the young shoots that tried to grow from under the root and on the stem. The stem itself had to be propped up so as not to collapse: the roots were still small, and the trunk was high.

But soon I got a very slender tree, but alas - on a trunk that leans with every watering.

When the crown increased, it began to tilt slightly to one side, bending the trunk.

In a word, nothing good happened. But giving up is not my style :-) I decided to definitely straighten this tree to make it beautiful: I love difficult tasks.

To begin with, I planted stone rose babies (also called "young") at the foot of the fat woman in order to somehow decorate my "failure".

And then she cut all the branches in half to give the trunk time to get stronger. With a short haircut, the barrel stopped listing. From all the dormant buds, new shoots with small leaves have sprung up on shortened branches.

But the trunk remained quite thin and seemed obscenely naked. Then I planted a few cut off cuttings next to the main trunk to cover this "slender trunk".

And I also came up with the idea to GROW BRANCHES ON A BARE STEM! Since I read that the side branches contribute to the increase in the thickness of the trunk. But after all, I cut out all the side branches, and therefore no overgrowth appeared on my trunk for a long time, even after a short pruning of the branches.

And here, quite intuitively, I stimulated the sleeping kidneys. In the spring, she simply took it and cut the bark on the trunk over each sleeping bud with her fingernail. And even after that, I sprayed the wounds several times with a growth stimulator - Epin.

And suddenly shoots sprouted from all the buds! I was so happy :-)

In the meantime, it was getting younger and the cuttings at the foot took root and also began to grow.

Then the largest stone roses began to produce their babies.

I liked it so much that I made a separate composition in a small bowl with young and fat women. And called - "Alpine Hill".

Well, the evening "portrait" :-)

And all this together - a "big family".

The next winter, young people had to be removed from the foot of the big fat woman, as they began to die. I don't know the reasons. Either the land was depleted, or, having given offspring, there was not enough strength to survive another winter in a warm apartment.

And gave me an "alpine hill" as a gift. I can cook up as many of these compositions as I can: young grows in my flower garden as a ground cover plant along the perimeter of the flower beds. Yes, and there is no need to mess with an outdoor plant that needs a cold winter, if there are so many types of indoor succulents that are similar in shape. It's like this: I tried it temporarily.

Now the crassula's crown is almost not growing. Although last spring I transplanted a tree into fresh soil, but in the same pot. I had a lot of expanded clay at the bottom there, I halved it and poured in fresh earth. But, apparently, all the forces the tree spends on growing side branches.

But the thickness of the barrel has increased! He even began to seem more squat. So it's true: side branches contribute to thickening! Whether or not to leave side branches in the future is a matter of choice. But for now, they are needed to make the trunk even thicker. In the spring, I’m just going to pinch the tops of those stems that grow next to the main trunk, and trim the crown again to make it rounder. In general, a few more years, and I will straighten the tree. A bad head does not give rest to the hands :-)

And now I will show the fat girl in the light of the latest news on the improvement of my window sills.

After the New Year, I arranged an extraordinary photo shoot for my rastyushki.

The fact is that the husband bought a new "toy" - a telly: the old one suddenly died. I rarely watch TV, so the unexpected purchase did not make me happy. But I was delighted with the foam box in which the TV was packed.

I have already shown you how to use Styrofoam. For those who haven't seen it, I'll show you again.

Kalanchoe cuttings are blooming

You see, this window sill is lined with foam plastic and the shelf with steps is also made of it.

Now I have a narrow Styrofoam box for the second windowsill. While I was rearranging, the fat woman temporarily showed off near the tiger :-)

Lubarik recently put up a topic for discussion, they say, what is more important for us: an interior decorated with flowers, or the flowers themselves. My husband immediately said, as soon as I put the rastyukhi on the cabinet:

- Leave it like that - it looks very nice.

I like it too, but you know, plants next to an electrical appliance, and far from a window, do not live very well.

And therefore, in the end, it turned out not so much beautiful as it was convenient for plants. It's cold near the glass itself in frosts. But here is the brightest place. Therefore, all pots have to be placed on the edge of the windowsill so that the roots do not freeze. And now you don't have to be afraid. She put undersized Kalanchoe in front of glass in a new box of foam.

There are cells along the edges.

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