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Green Fingers: Getting ready for the busy season

Green Fingers: Getting ready for the busy season

Bare-root trees and shrubs are a great cost-effective way of starting a new garden

Despite the recent good weather- with frozen ground- around this time of year is the best for planting new trees and shrubs in your garden. It is advisable to plant trees at this time of year because they are, in essence, asleep. There is also the added benefit that at this time of year some types of trees are less expensive to buy.

If you buy trees this time of year you may be able to buy what is known in the trade as ‘bare-root’ trees. These are trees that were growing in the ground during the summer. Once these trees ‘go to sleep’ in the winter it is safe to dig them up and transport them ready for sale. Because these trees can be transported with little cost they are less expensive to buy than pot-grown trees. You will know the trees are bare-root because, as the name suggests, you will see the tree roots in addition to the trunk and branches. Bare-root trees and shrubs are a great cost-effective way of starting a new garden. Most deciduous trees are available as bare-roots as are a few types of evergreen tree. Do remember that it is still not possible to either buy or sell ash trees. This is because of ash- dieback disease. So far, this disease has only been discovered in Ash plantations and has not spread into our hedgerows. It is in an effort to prevent the spread of the disease that the department have prevented its sale.

Planting Hedges

Likewise, with trees, this is also a great time of year to plant new hedges. Again, some hedging plants are available as bare-roots. These are also less expensive than pot grown plants. The most common types of hedging planted in Ireland would be beech, laurel and black and white thorn. All are hardy and will take the worst the Irish weather has to throw at them.

Although bare-root trees and hedge plants are cheaper, they need special treatment. This involves re-planting the plants into soil or compost as soon as possible after purchasing. This can be happen in the ground where the tree or hedge is going to be planted. If this is not an option, then they can be temporarily planted somewhere convenient or in plant pots.


I always try, where possible, to source trees and shrubs from local suppliers. If a shrub has been grown near to where your garden is then it is more likely to succeed and to grow in a more stable and healthy manner.

I supplier I have grown to trust in Tom Cusack in Sixmilebridge. In his plant nursery Tom has a vast array of trees and shrubs, many he has grafted and propagated himself. Tom is always on hand to give his expert opinion. As it happens Tom Cusack’s trees and shrubs are priced at a very competitive rate in addition to being great quality. Tom is can be contacted on: 087 4128507.

Contact James

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