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Bought a tree nut itis got no roots!!

(7 Posts)
NotForTurning Sat 06-Apr-13 08:55:56

I recently purchased a hawthorn tree - Crataegus Pauls' Scarlet - which is about 2 metres high and was in a plastic pot when bought. Dug the hole, put in appropriate compost, watered tree, gently extracted it from it's pot and got a shock - there's no root system - just about 5 short twiggy 'roots'.

Have I been sold a dud or will it grow?

I know that when you buy hawthorn for hedging they can have virtually no roots but I thought a 2 metre tree would have a solid root ball or at least more than this has.

Should I complain to the garden centre or water and watch and hope it grows?

WitchOfEndor Sat 06-Apr-13 09:05:50

I think you have been sold what is known in the gardening trade as 'a stick'!

Sorry for joking, I'm sure someone who knows more about hawthorns will be along soon but have a rootless bump from me. smile

MrsLettuce Sat 06-Apr-13 09:09:26

That does sound odd! I'd be back off to the garden center myself.

A hawthorn isn't a nut tree though confused

MrsLettuce Sat 06-Apr-13 09:10:33

Dsylexia attack - didn't notice the typos in the title and read: "Bought a nut tree but it's got no roots!!" hmm

NotForTurning Sat 06-Apr-13 09:56:18

Sorry - typos as typing quickly! I meant I bought a tree and it's got no roots - nothing at all to do with nuts - except maybe this makes me one if I've been sold a stick?

Any other opinions?

bumperella Sun 07-Apr-13 19:36:18

Its a bare-root plant - it's got 5 woody/ thick roots - when you lifted it out the container the compost all fell away from these slightly feeble-looking roots? Is that right?
Is perfectly normal to plant bare-root things when they are dormant, usually Dec-Mar. Sounds like it was held as bare-root item, went unsold so was then fairly recently potted.

It should still establish perfectly well, make sure you dig a generous planting hole and use a good strong stake and keep it well watered for the first 12 months (same as you have to do for any new tree, really). It's slightly late to be planting a bare-root tree, but weather has been so bad I'd assume it's still dormant and therefore should be fine.

If you thought you were buying a containerised plant (which are usually more expensive) then it would be fair enough to return it to garden centre, IMO, but make it clear that you thought it was container-grown and in fact it seems like it's a newly-potted bare root specimen which is not what you wanted.

NotForTurning Mon 08-Apr-13 08:38:08

Thanks Bumperella. That makes sense. It wasn't massively expensive so I think I'll see how it gets on. There are the beginning signs of tiny buds starting, so hopefully that's a good sign that it's not just a dead stick!

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