For enquiries, please call us on 01404 812229

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What will be the impact of Covid-19 on my order?

Our team here at Bowhayes are working under new Covid-safe conditions and we have put in measures to ensure their safety and the safety of any visitors to our site. We are currently working with a smaller team here on-site than normal. We are still taking and dispatching orders, however, we estimate the deliery time can be up to 20 working days to keep up with the increase in demand. We will be in touch as soon as possible if we are unable to process your order. We thank you for your patience and understanding. Please see our Covid-19 information page which provides further details on the impact of this extraordinary time.


Q. Can I buy all year round?

A lot of our stock is not containerised and should be transplanted during their dormant season, which is between October and April, depending on where you live. You may, however, place orders in advance, and your plants will be dispatched during the planting season. We do have a range of containerised trees, shrubs and plants available throughout the year and of course, our planting accessories are also available year-round.


Q. Do I need to plant my trees as soon as they arrive?
A. If you can’t plant your bare root plants straight away, they can be kept for up to a week in their original packaging in a cool, dark place. The sacks should be stored upright and loosely packed to ensure the roots are not damaged within. Do not open them or the roots will dry out. If there is not a suitable place to store them for this period, or if it will be slightly longer before they can be planted, then it is best to heel them in. Take the plants out of the sacks and place them in a shallow trench with the roots covered loosely by soil. If bundles are tied, don’t untie them at this stage. Use fine soil, if possible, to cover the roots so it trickles in between to protect them. If the weather is dry then water the trench to keep the soil moist.


Q. What is the provenance of your plants?

All plants offered through this website are of UK provenance. For some special projects, we may supply plants sourced from trusted, plant passported nurseries in Europe, if an equivalent is not available from UK sources. We will make you aware of this fact in advance of confirming the order. There are many pests and diseases that can seriously damage crops and plants in the UK. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) sets policy and enforces control and restrictions to regulate and protect plant health. Our nursery is inspected regularly to ensure all stock is free from disease and as part of this process we are issued with a plant passport which is used to offer full traceability of all plants going through our nursery. Our Plant Passport number is UK/EW 110198.


Q. What are you doing to prevent the spread of Xyella fastidiosa to the UK?

Xylella fastidiosa is one of the most harmful bacterial plant diseases in the world. It can cause severe losses in a wide range of hosts. Along with a number of other nurseries and in conjunction with the HTA, we have taken the decision NOT to knowingly purchase any host plants originating from regions where the disease Xylella is known to exist. This is in line with DEFRA’s good practice recommendations.


Q. What is the difference between Willows and Poplars?
A. Willows have a smooth bark and long thin leave and grow like a hedge. Poplars have a ridged bark with large leaves and grow more akin to a tree.


Q. Which soil type is best for Willows and Poplars?
A. Experience shows that both the Willows and Poplars will grow in any soil type but will thrive best in a reasonably drained soil of pH 5 to 7.5 They will however cope with very wet and boggy conditions.


Q. What are the differences between Rooted and Unrooted trees (setts)?
A. Unrooted trees are "stick-like" in appearance, which self-root. These are the most economical choice, and establish well because there are no roots needing to recover from being disturbed during lifting.  Rooted trees are one year old, single stemmed plants which have started to develop a loose root system (as opposed to rootballed plants which are roots contained within soil). Rooted and unrooted plants of a comparable size have a similar success rate. For more information see our Cuttings and Trees page.


Q. Are the Willows and Poplars evergreen?
A. No, they are deciduous (drop their leaves). However, they still create a screen in the winter months, which is comprised of a dense woody mass of branches. This is achieved by cutting back the trees, to make their growth denser/thicker the following season.


Q. How far and when should I cut my trees back?
A Willows: The best time to cutback is when the trees are dormant, which is autumn through to early spring. It is not advisable to cut in early summer as any new-growth produced will not mature enough to survive the coming winter. The Willows can be cut as severely as required, leaving a minimum of 3-4 inches of growth. (Poplars have a different growth pattern)
Poplars: These are ideally left to mature into a tree, but can be pollarded (cut back) if desired.


Q. Why should I buy the 6-8ft rooted trees and cut them back to 2ft opposed to buying the 4-6ft rooted trees and cut them back to the 2ft?
A. The 6-8ft rooted is a more vigorous grower and by cutting them back to 2ft, their growth is stimulated leading to bushier plants.


Q. Do you have different types or sizes of plants that are not listed on your website?
A. Yes, it is worth asking if you don’t see what you are looking for, as we have access to a greater number of plants than are currently listed on the website. Please call us on 01404 812229 to discuss any project or requirements.


Q. How long do I leave the spiral rabbit guards on for?
A. The guards should be left on while protection is required from rabbits, but can be remain on for the life of the tree, as they will grow and expand with it. Rabbit Guards are not suitable for 1ft cuttings.


Q. My poplar leaves have a yellow-orange residue?
A. This could be rust, which tends to appear in August (weather dependent). If the disease is caught in time it can be treated with a fungicide. If not the leaves are likely to drop off early, but there should not be any long-term damage, although close observation of the leaves the following season is advisable.