FAQs EverGrow Bags

How do EverGrow Bags work?

EverGrow Bags (EG Bags) are designed to restrict and contain roots. They can be used above or below ground. The tree’s roots will fill the bag as it grows, and then become restricted from further growth. Roots will not circle and root bind as they do in plastic pots. Fine roots penetrate the furry fabric, and become ‘choked’ by the strong, outer material as they thicken. The root ‘self-prunes’ and branches out further back inside the bag. This creates an efficient mass of fibrous roots.

Once at its contained size, the tree's energy is used to produce more fruit, and less wood & leaves. Fruit trees usually fruit at a younger age. Note: the absolute growth rate and size will differ with each species and cultivar. Training methods and spacing may need adjustment.


What can I plant in an EverGrow Bag?

Our  EG Bags are very popular for fruit trees, but can be used to grow most things - ornamentals, conifers, vegetables, and flowers.  Root restriction of fruiting trees results in a compact tree which fruits heavily. An added bonus – fruit trees usually fruit at a younger age.

EG Bag construction is designed to restrict and contain roots from getting too big, which is great for overly vigorous trees and shrubs, or invasive plants.  Some plants with very thin, wiry roots such as Raspberry will eventually 'escape' and sucker when planted underground. These type of plants could be contained by keeping the bags above ground.


Which size EverGrow Bag?

The size of bag - in conjunction with pruning - determines the tree or bush’s final size. The resulting leaf canopy is around 10 times the size of the chosen EG Bag. Approximate sizes: 10L bag = 100L canopy;  20L bag = 200L canopy; 30L Bag = 300L canopy; 40L Bag = 400L canopy.

Our smallest size, the 10L EG Bag is recommended for small berry bushes such as currants or NZ Cranberries (Ugni), bulbs, and small ornamentals (can be used inside ornate pots). It is not big enough for most fruit trees.

We recommend the 20 L size for Blueberries, or if the bag is above ground and regular watering is not always possible the 30 or 40L size will retain moisture for longer.

Our 20L  results in the most compact tree, pruned to be around 1.5-1.8m in height. This size is easy to tend, and birdnet and gives the  most fruit relative to its size.

Our 30L and 40L sizes will allow bigger tree height and canopies than the 20L, which is great for when you have a bit more space, and also when you don't have to net your tree from birds. The bigger sizes are also useful for retaining moisture a bit longer when using EG Bags above ground long term.


How long will the bag last?

Above ground an EG Bag’s material is guaranteed UV stable for 10 years, but we have examples still going strong after 20 years. Below ground the material is protected from UV rays, and is also designed not to rot or deteriorate. It will not tear or fray if cut. The tough, white base prevents roots penetrating through the bottom when placed above ground. Planted underground, finer roots usually grow through the sides, but they serve to stabilise the tree, and can be cut off with a spade when shifting. The mass of feeder roots within the bag will ensure the tree can easily handle a shift  – however is best to shift while dormant.


How can a tree live with such a small root space?

Once the tree’s roots fill the bag, it becomes restricted from further vigourous growth. The tree will then maintain a healthy root ball relative to the space it has in the bag. The tree doesn’t try to grow a lot of extra roots, (although there is a healthy cycle of old roots breaking down and new roots being formed). Instead it puts its energy into fruit and flowers.  An annual slow release fertiliser or compost, water, plus natural energy from light (photosynthesis) give it all the nutrients it needs for rejuvenation, flower formation, and fruit development.


How closely can I space my trees?

Minimum tree spacings for spreading canopies are:  10L bags at 90cm apart; 20L bags at 1.2m apart; 30L bags at 1.5m, 40L bags at 1.8m.


Are the materials non toxic?

Yes. Our materials are 100% lead and Phthalate free, as well as being Greenguard and Oeko-Tex certified. All materials are 100% recyclable.


Wouldn’t a large, unrestricted tree give me more fruit?

Actually a tree in an EG Bag will produce more fruit than a big tree relative to its size. The more it’s restricted, the more the tree will respond by fruiting! A tree in an EG Bag needs less pruning and spraying, and less fertiliser. A small tree doesn’t require ladders and you can easily net it from the birds to protect your crops.


Do I need to prune my tree?

Yes. When first planting a young fruit tree in a 20 Litre EG Bag we recommend cutting the trunk off between knee and hip height (500mm - 1 meter). This depends on the tree's existing branch structure and also the final height and shape you desire. Ensure you leave at least 15-20cm above the highest grafting/budding scar on grafted trees. The lower you cut, the lower your tree height will be. Apply pruning sealer. This cut is essential for creating a low, compact structure. You may cut  higher again for 30 & 40 Litre EG Bags as they produce a bigger tree. It seems brutal, but your tree trunk will respond by popping out buds, which quickly form new branches. Selectively prune and train these into your desired shape. (Stone fruit usually suit an 'open vase' shape. Pip fruit are often shaped with a 'modified central leader.') Ongoing pruning will be needed – but there will be minimal growth to cut off.


How much water will it need?

It depends on your climate. EG Bags above ground need more water than those below ground, adding water crystals will help. If the soil has dried out too much, soaking the bag in a tub of water will fully soak the root ball to its core again. In fruiting season your tree will need regular water, however in the dormant winter months it will need far less. Restricted root systems are more efficient in their water use.  Avoid overwatering.


Can I shift a tree once planted?

Yes – that’s the beauty of EverGrow Bags! You can have an orchard while renting and take it with you when you shift house. Tree planted in the wrong place? Shift it! If the bags are planted under the ground, you will need to cut any protruding roots where they have grown through the sides of the EG Bag into the surrounding soil. This is best done when the tree isn't fruiting. There will be a good quantity of feeder roots within the EG Bag, so cutting the protruding ones should not unduly shock it. Water well  a day before and also after shifting to lessen any stress. A spade or two will lever the bag up and out of the ground. We advise team lifting for safety as bags can be very heavy.


Do I need to plant dwarf fruit trees in an EverGrow Bag?

There is no need to choose dwarf fruit trees. Semi-dwarf or standard sized fruit trees will be 'dwarfed' by the bag. This allows you to choose from a wide range of fruit trees and still grow them in a small space.


Can I plant bare-rooted fruit trees in an EverGrow Bag?

Yes, as long as their roots will fit into the bag without cutting off too many feeder roots. You may need to go for a 30L size to get extra width. We can make custom sizes also, contact us for more information.


I have a young fruit tree growing in my garden, can I transfer it to an EverGrow Bag?

If it is around 3 years old or younger, or quite compact, there's a good chance you can transfer it by 'wrenching.' Select your size bag and check its diameter on our Bag Dimension chart. In early Autumn or early Spring use a sharp spade to cut deeply  around one half of the tree's roots in a semi-circle which is about an inch smaller than the bag's diameter. This will allow the cut ends of the roots to grow feeder roots off their tips. At this point you can cut the tree trunk and branches to your desired height and shape.  After a month or two of active root growth, cut around the remaining half of the tree roots,vand also underneath the tree at a bit less than the height of the bag. Allow another month of root growth, ideally  until Autumn when the tree drops its leaves. Then you can completely lift the tree and you should see young fresh roots growing from where you originally cut them with your spade.  There should be space for a good amount of the new feeder roots to fit into the bag, you can trim back their extra length as needed. Keep well watered until established.


How do I find out more?     

Contact us, we would love to hear from you!  http://www.evergroworchard.nz/contact