Bare Root Planting Season
Well, okay maybe not quite, but with February right around the corner it is almost time for planting bare root trees and shrubs. What is a bare root plant you ask? Bare root plants are sold without soil around the roots and are only available during the late winter dormancy period. There are many benefits to planting bare root plants. Bare root plants establish more quickly since there is no transition from potting soil to garden soil. They are also much easier to transport and plant than container plants, and they are also much lower in cost than container plants. I’d like to put in a pitch for including native plants in your garden. They not only provide habitat for birds and other wildlife, but if sited properly they are relatively care-free and will thrive in your garden with little maintenance once they become established.
I’ve just ordered 25 native trees and 50 native shrubs from the East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District’s online native plant sale. We’ll be picking them up on February 18th and heading out to the farm for a weekend of planting. The plants I’ve selected tolerate full sun, and many are also drought-tolerant and will grow in poor soils, which will be great for our dry, sunny, southern exposure.
There are already lots of Douglas fir saplings on our property, but we’d like to add some diversity so I’ve ordered 25 trees, a mix of incense cedar, noble fir, western hemlock, and Oregon white oak.
I’ve also ordered the following shrubs.
Mockorange – a beautiful yet underused shrub that is covered in white flowers in the late spring/early summer. It was discovered by Merriweather Lewis and gets its common name from the delicious orangey scent of its flowers.
Ocean spray – a common native shrub with large clusters of white flowers drooping from the branches. It is a pioneer species which establishes in places that have been disturbed by forest fire or clear-cutting. It attracts butterflies and other beneficial insects, and provides cover for birds.