Bare-Root Production

"Vigorous, robust, young plants capable of rapid establishment on any site"

Christie-Elite are one of the UK’s leading producers of bare-root forest trees including native broadleaves, hedging species, commercial conifers and Christmas trees.

Bare-root trees from at Christie-Elite begin with seed which is collected each year from various locations, or provenance zones, throughout the UK. Prepared seed is sown by machine into sterilised field beds and allowed to germinate and grow for up to 3 years to produce a finished plant.

Each year during development rising seedlings are undercut, or wrenched, trimming the roots beneath the soil to encourage development of a healthy, fibrous, root system. Finished plants produced in this way are known asseedling undercuts (1uO or 1u1).

Another way to encourage root fibre in bare-root plants is to transplant rising seedlings by lifting plants out of the ground and re-planting them into fresh beds. This process is more labour intensive and typically takes an additional year. Finished plants produced in this way are known as transplants (1+1or 1+2).

Many foresters prefer bare-root plants over cell-grown (or containerised) stock as they are much cheaper to buy as well as being easier to transport and plant. Bare-rooted trees will establish just as successfully as containerised plants however they are only available during the dormant (winter) season between November and May.

Caring for your tree

"Planting and care tips to help give trees the best start"


Preparation of your site can be the difference between a successful planting operation and failure. Ensure it is fully weeded, either by hand or by using an appropriate herbicide.

Choose your planting spot carefully, avoid planting in dense shade or if the soil is waterlogged. Your tree will need an appropriate amount of room to grow, which will vary according to the species.

Make a slit in the ground with a spade, about two thirds the depth of the blade and move the spade handle back and forth to widen your slit. At this point you can add bonemeal or fertiliser (one of our timed release fertiliser plugs or 'Nutreelite' is ideal). Insert the cell so that the top of the compost is about an inch below the soil level. Finally,press down the soil with your foot around the tree, you can also water the tree if conditions are dry.


Your hardy tree will require little care once planted but you will need to protect it if any rabbits, hare or deer are present, as they will quickly damage or kill tender young trees. The tree can be lightly pruned to remove damaged branches, or to influence the shape (this is best done during winter or early spring). The area around the base of the tree needs to be kept free of weeds, until the tree is around a metre tall and able to fend for itself. This can be done by hand, by using an appropriate herbicide or by application of mulch.