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Container vs. bareroot stock: which should I buy?

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We sell container and bareroot stock types. In many instances, we offer both container seedlings and bareroot seedlings for the same species. This chart outlines the differences between the two and should help you decide which is the best choice for you.

  Container Bareroot
Roots Roots confined to a soil "plug" Naturally developed roots (with the dirt removed for storage and shipping)
Size smaller larger
Cost cheaper more expensive
How it was grown Greenhouse-grown and generally one year old but sometimes two years old Most often greenhouse-grown for its first year and then transplanted to bareroot fields
Ease of handling and planting Small, confined roots make handling and planting easy Being a larger tree with unconfined roots, these seedlings require careful handling and more effort to plant
Risk of Damage before planting The soil plug surrounding the roots protects container seedlings from drying out or being damaged by casual handling Dry out quickly and easily stressed before planting

Still unsure?

If you have any questions about our stock types or if you are unsure of which is best for you, call us toll-free at 1-844-873-3700 or send an email to

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This question has the following tag: selecting the right trees

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