Buying Hedge Plants: Container Grown, Bare Root or Root Balls?


It is important to look after your hedging plants immediately you receive them –
please follow the instructions on the Care Card that accompanies every plant.

Like most other nurseries, we offer our hedge plants in three forms: bare root, root ball and container grown.
Container Plants have the advantage of:
• All year round availability
• Need no immediate attention other than watering
• Can be left in their container until you are ready to replant
• Are quick to establish
Bare Root and Root Balls offer a cheaper alternative to container plants with Bare Root being the cheapest of them all. But each has a ‘season’, both of which are now upon us:
BARE ROOT: November to March
ROOT BALLS: mid-October to mid-April
Bare Root Hedge Plants
The roots must not be exposed to the wind or sun for long. Ideally, they should be replanted IMMEDIATELY according to the instructions below.
To keep them on hold if their final destination is not quite prepared, simply (but within a day) dig a trench, place the plants into it and back fill on both sides, firming with your heel to ensure soil is in contact with roots. Water well.
Please Note: Bare root plants of some species have a relatively high failure rate primarily due to the time gap that can occur between a customer receiving a healthy plant and planting it correctly. This is why we only make certain hedge plants available as Bare Roots.
Root Ball Hedge Plants
Root Balls obviously have the added protection of some soil around the roots and of their hessian bag in which they are delivered. Providing they are kept moist and well-sheltered, Root Balls do not have to be replanted for several months, though, of course, the quicker they are moved into their new home, the quicker they will establish and start to grow.
They are therefore a better compromise than Bare Roots, but still take longer to establish than Container Grown Hedge Plants.
Regardless of which type you have purchased, it is essential to prepare the soil before planting:
1. We recommend digging with a garden fork to twice the depth of the fork (double digging) as this will give the roots a free run without restriction.
As you dig, remove all weeds including rhizomes (fleshy roots) and any large stones or other detritus such as bricks and rubble that may have been discarded there. Keep small stones as these are good for drainage
2. Fill the furrow with water and allow it to drain
3. Bare Root and Root Ball plants should be immersed in a bucket of water for just a couple of minutes
4. Add organic matter, such as garden compost, and rake in a general-purpose fertilizer.
5. Place your hedging plants into the furrow with their collar at soil level, back fill and firm with your heel to ensure good contact
Availability of Bare Root Hedge Plants
Beech, Common Box, Hornbeam, Lonicera nitida, Privet, Purple Copper Beech,
Availability of Root Ball Hedge Plants
Common Box, Leylandii, Yew