My bare root adventures started off very exciting. I had one company give me an estimated date and another company gave me a tracking number. I had planned for 100 Japanese Black Pines to arrive somewhere between 2:00 pm and 8:00 pm. While waiting, I received another 200 trees that I wasn't expecting for another week. I ended up planting up the 300 trees from 2:00 pm to 11:00 pm.
These are the different instructions I got from both companies:
Open when ready, and...
Open this right away!
This led to my kitchen being piled up with wet towels, needles, and ginkgo leaves.
I ordered 100 Ginkgo Biloba, 50 Bald Cypress, 100 Japanese Black Pine, and 50 Colorado Blue Spruce.
As you can see, the root systems varied a bit, but this is due to the differences in age, growing locations, and species. The Japanese Black Pine were grown in plugs and transplanted into the field. The Colorado Blue Spruce were grown for 7 years, 3 in the seedling beds and 4 in the field. The Ginkgos and Bald Cypress were both grown in seedling beds for 4 and 2 years respectively.
The Colorado Blue Spruce had pretty solid root systems and size.
I picked a few of each species to grow out in a mound of compost in the backyard. I'll give an update on survival and how each species transitioned from the bare root process. Overall I was impressed with the size and roots of the trees that I received.