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TOBEYVILLE — It’s time to show your bare roots. Or, at least, go plant some.

“We basically have a small window of time that’s good for planting bare-root fruit trees,” said Jessica Robertson of Backbone Valley Nursery. “One of the great things about bare roots is you’re taking advantage of (the tree’s) natural cycle because you’re planting it while it’s dormant, so it will come out of it naturally. And when it comes out of being dormant, it begins growing a very vigorous root system.”

A healthy and vibrant root is a great way to get a fruit tree, or any tree, started.

But using bare-root fruit trees isn’t as popular in Texas as it is in the northern states. Yet the trees, which come with their roots bare as opposed to grown in a bucket, offer numerous advantages.

“If you follow the instructions when planting them, they are actually easy to take care of,” Robertson said.

The key is those instructions.

For those who want to take advantage of all the, well, advantages of bare-root fruit trees and stock, Backbone Valley Nursery is holding two workshops at 3 p.m. Jan. 25 and Feb. 1 on the subject. The two workshops cover the same information and topics, so people can chose which one to attend.

Backbone Valley Nursery is located at 4201 FM 1980 (north of RR 1431 between Marble Falls and Granite Shoals.)

The advantages of bare-root tree are numerous.

One of the main ones comes down to pruning. Robertson said, usually, the first couple of years of a fruit tree require some significant pruning to create the proper branch growth. Some people might not feel they have the pruning skills to manage the task.

Backbone Valley Nursery offers Quick Pick bare-root stock, which features trees that already have had some time in the ground.

“With bare-root trees, they are usually already two to three years old, so that first couple of years of pruning has already been done,” Robertson said. This pruning creates a tree that will grow in a manner that allows for easier harvesting.

This isn’t the case for many container-grown trees, she explained. When they begin producing, the fruit is higher off the ground, making it more difficult to pick.

Bare-root trees are just that: They are sold with bare roots. The trees are grown in the ground but are dug up just before being shipped to the nursery or garden center. Once at Backbone Valley Nursery, Robertson and the staff “heal” the trees so the roots are covered with soil to protect them.

Bare-root season also offer gardeners a chance to get varieties that aren’t available at any other time of the year, Robertson said.

The bare-root workshop is free. Along with the bare-root event, Backbone Valley Nursery is holding pruning workshops at 3 p.m. Feb. 8 and 15. The nursery routinely holds workshops throughout the year. Go to or call (830) 693-9348.


WHAT: Workshops on growing bare-root fruit trees

WHEN: 3 p.m. Jan. 25 or Feb. 1

WHERE: Backbone Valley Nursery, 4201 FM 1980 between Marble Falls and Granite Shoals

COST: Free

FOR MORE: Go to or call (830) 693-9348