It isn’t always necessary to bare root a tree before planting, but in some cases, it’s crucial for the tree’s good health. The tree in the photos below probably came from the southeastern U.S., based on the heavy clay soil that is visible. Here in the northeast, most of our soils are significantly different. In the planting site for this tree, the soil had high organic matter and was extremely well-drained. Without proper preparation, there was a low chance for this tree to thrive in its new home. Since the soil at the planting site was so well-drained, water wouldn’t have a chance to soak through the clay to the roots. We chose to completely bare root the tree and in the process, found a snarl of roots. We cut several roots so the tree wouldn’t girdle itself and untangled a few more. The tree was planted in its new location and it settled in well. It was worth the extra time!