Prunus spinose is a thorny deciduous tree or shrub with dark green, ovate leaves. Small clusters of white, salver-shaped flowers form in early spring on the bare branches, followed by small black fruits in autumn. The fruits can be used to make sloe gin.
Please see our bare root plant guides for more information. We've put together a collect of help and advice articles covering what bare root plants are, why they are a good choice, which plants are available bare root, when and where to plant.
Deciduous plants supplied bare root during the dormancy period will not have any leaves at this time; top growth will just be brown and twiggy to start with and will come into leaf in the spring. This is perfectly normal. The plants we supply are healthy will an extensive root system. Please see the final picture for an illustration of how your plants will look when they are delivered.
Bare Root is usually available for pre-order mid-October, dispatching between early November and late March. Exact dates vary year to year depending on the weather. We cannot guarantee availability for a certain date at the beginning or end of the season.
Important Bare Root Care
As soon as you receive your bare root plants place the items upright in a bucket of clean water immediately leaving them for at least 2 hours. Only take plants out as you need them for planting.
Q: When is bare root season?
A: Our bare root season usually runs from November to March but it can depend on the weather conditions, we'd always recommend buying at the end of autumn rather than waiting for spring.
Q: Does the plant size include the roots?
A: No, all bare root plant sizes quoted exclude the roots.
Q: What size plants will I receive?
A: Stock size varies through the season, our 'Plant Size' are give as a guide and you will receive plants somewhere in that range. We are unable to specify exactly how tall the plants will be within that range.
Q: How old will the plants be?
A: Most of our 'Plant Sizes' include the age of the plant, this is shown as a sum e.g. 1+2 which in this case would indicate that the plants are 3 years old. The first number is how long the plant has spent in the seedbed and the second is the number of year it has spent lined out in the field. Where the sum starts with a 0+ this indicates that the plants were grown from a rooted cutting.
Q: Can I get a discount for bulk purchases?
A: We offer a discount banding on bare root plants making them cheaper the more you buy, see the table on each page for details of the price within each band.
Q: Do I need canes?
A: Bamboo canes are perfect for giving young saplings, hedging plants, climbers and other tall shrubs the support they need when they start to establish. Unless you are planting in a completely sheltered spot with very little chance of wind then we would always recommend using a cane for support.
Q: Do I need rabbit guards?
A: Spiral Rabbit Guards are the most popular, low cost tree protection for young saplings, seedlings, transplants and hedging plants from browsing animals such as voles, mice, rabbits and hares. Spiral Rabbit Guards have the ability to grow and expand with the growing tree, providing a sheltered environment for the tree. It's hard to say for certain if you will require the extra protection a rabbit guard provides, if your are aware of a particular pest problem in your planting location then we would recommend using them. Rabbit Guards are not suitable for 'evergreens' please see 'Shrub Shelters' for a suitable evergreen protection method.
Q: What is a shrub/tree shelter?
A: Shrub/Tree Shelters are similar to rabbit guards but are designed for use on evergreens that would sweat and die in rabbit guards. We supply shrub/tree shelters as a kit which includes the shelter, 1 Stake and 2 cable ties, one kit is required per plant.
Q: Do I need shrub/tree shelters?
A: If you are aware of any specific pest problems in your planting area then we would recommend using a shrub/tree shelter to give your young trees or hedging plants that extra protection.