Mid-winter is bare root planting time here in most of California (sorry Truckee). Roses, fruit trees, nut trees and berries are bare root bargains this time time of year.
We've talked about how to plant bare root trees and berries in a previous post.
But, there's one more thing to do after you've planted, added mulch and installed the irrigation:
Loosen the plant label.
Bare root labels are printed on notched, thin strands of flexible plastic. And that flexibility is a temporary condition. By Year 2, if you try to pry loose that label because it's girdling the stem, it'll probably crack off.
If you don't loosen it now, it may get swallowed up or snapped by the expanding trunk.
If you want to read that label in a few years, loosen it now, at planting time.
And, it's good insurance to write the varieties down in a garden diary (a daily calendar book does nicely; we've been filling the same one since 1990).
Trust me, you won't remember what it is if you don't; I've learned from experience. I've got a yard of many mysteries.