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Purchasing Trees and Shrubs

Purchasing Trees and Shrubs

Woody plants are available to purchase in 3 forms. Bare-root, balled-and-burlaped (B&B), and container.

  • Bare-root stock has roots surrounded by nothing but moist sawdust or peat moss within a plastic wrapping. The roots must be kept moist and cool, and planting should take place as soon as possible in the spring.
  • Balled-and-burlapped (B&B) stock comes with the roots surrounded by soil and wrapped in burlap, often secured with a wire cage for larger plants. The plants are usually field grown, and then dug up, balled and burlapped the year they are sold. 
  • Container plants are grown in pots filled with potting soil and have established root systems. This form is the most common at garden centers and nurseries. Container stock establishes quickly and can be planted almost anytime during the growing season. 


Excerpt from "Tree & Shrub Gardening for Ohio" by Fred Hower and Alison Beck. Available for purchase here.

Terms to Know When Purchasing Trees and Shrubs
Growing Out-of-Zone Plants