Bare rootstock available, ready for winter planting |  Dalliv

Bare rootstock available, ready for winter planting | Dalliv

Sleeping pruning is done in the winter while the plants that benefit from it are dormant. Clearly, otherwise it would not be dormant pruning. Such processes are less stressful for plants while inactive and essentially anesthetized as a surgical patient. This is also the reason why fresh bare rootstock becomes accessible and ready for planting in winter.

Bare rootstock grows on farms for some years. Any grafting is part of the process. When the stock is sufficiently mature, the growers dig and separate its roots from the soil in which it grew. A large portion of the stock goes to retail nurseries for heeling in moist sand for sale. Some get nice packaging with moist sawdust around the roots. Some go out for mail order sales.

Whatever the process, it all happens quickly and early in hibernation. Bare rootstock should then get into the ground again, quickly and before the end of hibernation. It will not survive if it resumes growth without soil to contain new roots. Planting should be done as soon as possible so that the roots can settle in the rain and be ready to grow by spring.

Bare rootstock is cheaper than canned (pot) because it is so light and easier to handle. As it takes up less space than canned food in retail nurseries, there are several varieties of bare rootstock available. Bare rootstock is easier to load into a car and plant in a garden. Once in a garden, it spreads roots quickly and more efficiently.

Deciduous fruit trees are the most popular bare rootstock. Of these, most are stone fruits or stone fruits. The stone fruits of the genus Prunus include cherries, plums, prunes, apricots, peaches, nectarines, their hybrids and almonds. Apple, pear and quince are stone fruits (pomme). Pomegranate, persimmon, fig, mulberry and walnut are also a bit popular.

So much more than deciduous fruit and nut trees are available as bare rootstock. Grapes, kiwis, currants, gooseberries and blueberries are deciduous vines or shrubs, not trees. Blackberries, raspberries and strawberries are evergreen. Rhubarb, asparagus and artichoke are perennial vegetables. Rose, wisteria, hydrangea and so many more are fruitless ornamental plants.

Highlight: pomegranate

As for the fig, date, avocado, grape and olives, the prized pomegranate, Punica granatum, has been in cultivation for a very long time. Several thousands of years of domestication have generated countless cultivars. They are now popular in many regions and cultures around the world. They produce very well here and in other Mediterranean climates.

Most locally popular pomegranate fruits are brownish red and about 3 to 4 inches wide. Each fruit contains hundreds of seeds, which are surrounded by juicy and delicately juicy flesh. They are easily separated, like many small and tender berries. Most are garnet red. Some varieties produce fruit with darker purple, lighter pink or even colorless flesh.

Without dormant pruning, pomegranate trees can grow taller than 15 feet and develop dense shrub growth. Fruit is easier to gather from well-groomed shorter trees. Individual trees can develop a few trunks and live for two centuries. Orange-red flowers bloom in spring. The leaves turn yellow before defoliation in autumn. The fruit ripens in autumn or winter.

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