Put your best foot forward – how to store your plants over Winter

Whilst you might have the best laid plans for planting, there’s all too often something that throws a spanner in the works.  If you’re ordering bare root trees and hedging this winter and you don’t get to plant them within the 7 days after you receive them, you’re going to have to go to Plan B – “heeling in”.  Read on – we’ve all you need to know to ensure your plants survive over winter.

Your perfect pack of plants have arrived from Trees and Hedging but wait! You’re not going to be able to plant them within the 7 days after you’ve received them.  Don’t panic!  There’s a tried-and-tested nursery trick to store your bare root plant material over winter and it’s called “heeling in”.

You’ll need:

  • Weed-free open ground – the less exposed, the better
  • A good spade
  • Some oomph to dig a trench
  • Your bare root plants, freshly delivered
  • Your feet – fully booted, please

Can you dig it? Yes you can!

In some good quality soil, dig yourself a shallow trench, just deep enough to house the roots of your newly-received bare root plants and wide enough to cater for the bundles you’re going to store over winter.

Best quality bare root plants

Your Trees and Hedging plants will be have been delivered by us in a co-extruded bag – white on the outside, black on the inside.  These keep your plants in the best condition for transit and keep the plants cool – they’re extra thick and reflect heat.   Remove the plants from the bag and lay them with their roots in your freshly-dug trench.  Make sure the roots are damp before you place them in their home for the winter.

Snuggle up

Make sure all your bundles for this trench are snuggled up next to each other, nice and tight.

Take cover!

Spade the soil you’ve dug out for the trench back over the roots of your plants in the hole, making sure there aren’t any air pockets that frost could sneak into over the coldest snaps.

Put the boot in

Here come’s the “heeling in” part.  With your booted foot, push gently down on the covered rooted area to make sure your plants are snug in their trench.

And repeat

If you’ve got more than a trenches worth of bundles to cater for over winter and space is at a premium, dig another trench in front of the one you have already and repeat the exercise, laying the next set of bundles over the first covered trench.


And that’s “heeling in”  – want to see it in action? Here’s Andrew Henderson of Trees and Hedging showing us how in one of our How To videos.  And if you haven’t already ordered, you could take advantage of our online discount right now and get 10% off your order.


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