Planting bare root does involve some specific steps that need to be followed. After you purchase a plant but before you plant it the roots need to be kept moist and covered and kept out of the sun. Fully submerge the roots in water for up to from 1 to 24 hours to soak. Dig a hole slightly larger than the circumference of the roots. While holding the plant in the hole begin filling in with soil (or soil mixed with compost or some other amendment) stopping every once and a while to pack the soil into any spaces between the roots. This is very important because if air pockets are left the roots will dry out and die. The plant should be covered with soil to just above the highest root. Sometimes you can see a mineral line on the plant that marks how deep it was planted at the nursery. That would be the ideal planting depth. Make sure you water the plant in well after you are done and water it throughout the season as bare root plants are more delicate at first than potted plants.
If you have been thinking about planting a tree or a shrub now might be the best time to do it. Every spring some nurseries offer bare-root plants that have many advantages versus a traditional potted plant. Bare root plants are those which have been dug up from a field in the early spring (or late fall) while they are still dormant.
The most obvious boon of planting bare root is the money you will save. To buy the same size plant potted usually costs double what you’ll pay for its soilless alternative. Planting bare root trees and shrubs can lead to better root development. When plants grow too long in a pot the roots hit the sides and start growing in circles which if not broken up will continue after it is planted in the ground. Lacking soil also means that the plants are easier to move and plant. Many people have no trouble taking their time to dig a hole but it is a different story when it comes to lifting a large object all in one go.
This delicacy is one of bare roots draw backs. Plants may not come out of dormancy well or may become too stressed and die. However experience has shown that it is just as successful as potted material if treated correctly so gardeners should have few worries.
Cheers and happy planting.