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Air pruning beds


Well-Known Member
I know it is common practice for you guys to use rootmaker trays to air prune tree roots. I bought some of those to get some acorns started this spring. I have since kind of gone down the rabbit hole of air pruning beds. I know they won't grow as fast as the rootmakers but potentially grow more trees for less investment. My main reasons for going this route are as a full time farmer I have more control over the time of planting instead of being in a time crunch when bare root trees are delivered. My main questions if anyone has tried this are if it hurts anything to make the beds out of pressure treated lumber(to help them last longer) and if you can stratify acorns and other seeds in the raised beds over winter or if they need more protection than that here. I have a lot of work to do in the coming years to try to thicken up our pasture, just trying to find the best solution for my situation. Thanks in advance.
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Staff member
Raised beds with treated- no issue.
I stratify mine in fridge, plant in spring & they pop out fast! 35-37 degrees in fridge with peat moss.
Main issue with acorns is squirrels, chipmunks & coons. I built a walk in cage around mine for maybe few hundred bucks. It’s huge. Price out some mesh cage screen rolls. Not bad. Don’t fight the squirrels- they always win. Just protect so nothing gets to them. Pretty cheap and few hours- done.

Love the rest! Good luck!!

This is my cage before I did finishing touches. Way more than anyone needs. That year I raised pots about 10” off ground. Could do whatever though. Higher would be handier.




Well-Known Member
No squirrels in my yard or chipmunks. Do have ground squirrels, but I don't think they will be an issue if off the ground a foot or 2. Have lots of used telephone poles that I can cut to get them off the ground. One source I saw said you could stratify acorns in them but I would think that would be too cold. May have to do an experiment next year to compare germination between the air pruning beds.

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