In Shorewood, an average of 100 trees are removed each year due to disease, damage or defect. Prior to 2020, these trees were replaced with ball and burlap varieties. With increasing pressure from emerald ash borer and general workload considerations, the Village Board approved a transition to bare root planting in 2020.

Bare Root Trees

The use of bare root planting stock reduces costs and improves efficiencies. Bare root trees are generally smaller than ball and burlap trees, however they can be purchased at approximately one-half to one-third the cost.  They can be planted more efficiently (less labor and less equipment) and their (primarily) fall planting time means reduced transplant stress and typically more dependable precipitation, both of which translate to lower failure rates.

Planting Process

Upon the early spring delivery of the bare root nursery stock, trees are placed by staff in a gravel bed located in the public works yard. The trees are held here over the summer while the root structure develops in the irrigated bed. Planting begins in early September.

April 2020

gravel bed installation 5

September 2020

gravel bed sept 2

Resident Impacts of Bare Root Planting Plan
Residents will see some changes in the tree planting process:

  • Smaller tree size will be apparent to some. The trunk diameter of previously used ball and burlap trees was 2.0 – 2.5 inches; a typical bare root tree is 1.25-1.75 inches.  The height will be similar.  Common industry experience demonstrates that trees of smaller size at the time of planting often out-perform larger diameter trees planted at the same time.
  • A planting lag will occur as we reduce the backlog from 2019.  Some residents will notice a longer period between removal of the old tree and planting of its replacement.
  • Seasonal planting will move from early summer to fall.
  • Stakes are required for bare root trees.
BR lilac roots in hole with justin
Stewart with planted lilac