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New2TheGreenIndustry
08-05-2008, 07:19 PM
I have heard some people say to leave the wire mesh on a B & B tree, and others say take it off. What is your take? If I take the mesh off, won't the ball just fall apart on larger plants and die rather quickly?

procut
08-05-2008, 07:30 PM
You can leave it on.

Whitey4
08-05-2008, 08:02 PM
I remove not only the wire, but the burlap too. This spring I pulled out and replaced a two year old arborvitae. A seven footer. The roots never got through the ball. I have found that as long as the ball is very moist, almost wet, it holds together very well while I position it. I do leave a very small peice of burlap under the ball. First, I remove the wire. Place the plant, then use a knife to cut away as much burlap as I can. I've seen some BnB's with 3 layers of burlap on the ball. Too much.

New2TheGreenIndustry
08-05-2008, 08:18 PM
What brings this up is I was planting some Leylands with about 36" balls, and when I took the mesh off and tried to push it in the hole, the ball fell apart. They were so heavy I can't see getting them in the hole in one piece without leaving it on.

Dstosh
08-05-2008, 08:29 PM
I remove not only the wire, but the burlap too. This spring I pulled out and replaced a two year old arborvitae. A seven footer. The roots never got through the ball. I have found that as long as the ball is very moist, almost wet, it holds together very well while I position it. I do leave a very small peice of burlap under the ball. First, I remove the wire. Place the plant, then use a knife to cut away as much burlap as I can. I've seen some BnB's with 3 layers of burlap on the ball. Too much.

I do pretty much the same thing. cut/remove wire and as much burlap as possible.

Whitey4
08-05-2008, 08:40 PM
What brings this up is I was planting some Leylands with about 36" balls, and when I took the mesh off and tried to push it in the hole, the ball fell apart. They were so heavy I can't see getting them in the hole in one piece without leaving it on.

Try keeping the balls wetter.... and leave the burlap on until it's in the hole. I have used string in place of the wire a couple times as I thought the ball might fall apart... it holds well enough until it's in the hole and can be cut off. I know... wet balls are heavy balls....

jhill603085
08-05-2008, 10:58 PM
the best method depending upon the integrity of the root ball, for example a very loose ball would require you to leave the mesh and burlap when putting it in the hole, and then just cut off as much of the cage as possible, then remove as much burlap as possible. there have been countless times that i torn out dead or dying bushes that still have the cage completely intact.

TurfdudeNCSU
08-05-2008, 11:05 PM
We leave the wire baskets in place as well as the burlap. We do remove all items off the top of the ball (Straps, wire and burlap) but only after we set them in the hole. That way we can move them around the the loader and easier to handle. Do not have any problems with this method and we plant aprox. 20-30 b&b trees a week. The wire and burlap are going to rust and break down over time and allow the roots to break through. It typically takes about 1 year for each caliper of the tree to grow roots out side of the burlap and set themselves in.

Whitey4
08-05-2008, 11:20 PM
We leave the wire baskets in place as well as the burlap. We do remove all items off the top of the ball (Straps, wire and burlap) but only after we set them in the hole. That way we can move them around the the loader and easier to handle. Do not have any problems with this method and we plant aprox. 20-30 b&b trees a week. The wire and burlap are going to rust and break down over time and allow the roots to break through. It typically takes about 1 year for each caliper of the tree to grow roots out side of the burlap and set themselves in.

This makes a lot of sense to me for the big plantings.... if you need a loader to move the plant, that's a big arse plant, and frankly, way out of my league. I was talking about something like a 7 foot arborvitae for instance. I'm a small solo, and walk away from those big jobs, at least for now.

Not that I know based on experience, but I have to think your approach is the correct one for very large plants. I'm talking about stuff you can man-handle into the hole.... nothing so large that requires a loader.

I think it's safe to say "remove as much as possible". Now, what is possible is largely dependent on the size and wieght of the ball. I simply don't install balls over 250 lbs. Out of my league.

AGLA
08-05-2008, 11:24 PM
I'm with Jhill on this. You have to balance out ball damage from handling vs. root damage later.

Leylands are more notorious than nerds in a strip club for having very sensitive balls. I'd be very cautious of doing anything to disturb them. Give the rootball all the support you can in the hole and then remove what you can without disturbing it.

PS. I grew up in Natick.

PSUturf
08-05-2008, 11:28 PM
If it doesn't take much effort I will remove as much of the basket as possible once it is in the hole and there are a few inches of lightly compacted soil in the bottom of the hole to prevent the tree from tipping. Never remove the basket before putting the tree in the hole. Always remove the twine after the ball is in the hole. Pull the burlap away from the trunk.
I have never seen a tree have a problem growing roots through the burlap. If the tree died without having any roots penetrate the burlap it probably didn't receive enough water. In the fall, go to any nursery that covers their B&B stock with bark or wood chips and you will find roots growing through the burlap of trees that were dug in the spring.

Whitey4
08-05-2008, 11:42 PM
If it doesn't take much effort I will remove as much of the basket as possible once it is in the hole and there are a few inches of lightly compacted soil in the bottom of the hole to prevent the tree from tipping. Never remove the basket before putting the tree in the hole. Always remove the twine after the ball is in the hole. Pull the burlap away from the trunk.
I have never seen a tree have a problem growing roots through the burlap. If the tree died without having any roots penetrate the burlap it probably didn't receive enough water. In the fall, go to any nursery that covers their B&B stock with bark or wood chips and you will find roots growing through the burlap of trees that were dug in the spring.

I agree that insufficient irrigation is often the cause of an install's demise, but still think it's best to remove as much as possible without breaking the ball up. I always remove the basket first, and that has worked well for me, but again, I'm talking about balls under 250 lbs.

BTW.... I really hate Leyland Cypress and Arborvitaes.

Travel'n Trees
08-06-2008, 03:20 AM
Where do you come up with this crap a you loosen the ball with no basket, even the wind keep breaking the feeder roots, if you take the basket off, secondly the baskets generally used the welds break before the tree is in it, that is why I pay extra for columbia bag and burlap baskets. secondly 90% percent of burlap is so cheap it pulls apart basketing the trees when you pull it. the three layers is because it had already rotted and they covered it up. There is treated and non treated burlap. Which non of it lasts 6 months anyways. The burlap didn't keep the tree dry, you have to water it, no sprinkler system, or rain counts. Go dig a 20 different kind of trees before you offer and look at the root systems, we average 95 to 98 percent sucess rate. Even planting at the wrong time of year. The 250 lbs are only 2 in trees, that is when they start getting a head on them, and do not look like they are from walmart. The most important thing is a big ball, less roots cut.

AGLA
08-06-2008, 07:46 AM
What are you saying?

Note to self: Don't post at 4:20 AM.

Travel'n Trees
08-06-2008, 10:28 AM
I am saying baskets don't hold up and neither does burlap with water.

PaperCutter
08-06-2008, 10:55 AM
I feel like I read a study (Univ Minnesota maybe?) where even after a number of years the roots failed to get beyond the burlap, and the burlap had not broken down. Regardless, I place the tree, then cut the cage off with boltcutters and remove the burlap before backfilling.

Fordsuvparts
08-06-2008, 03:06 PM
We have planted thousands of B&B trees and have never removed the burlap or the basket, if done correctly like Travel'n trees said the burlap is gone in 6-8 months, If you have a root-ball that falls apart then it is way to dry. We always water the trees very heavy for the week before we do a big planting. We set the trees then remove the rope or twine and then peel back the top part of the burlap and then bend the basket down into the sides of the hole. We have probably have a 97% success rate with big tree's 2" and up the largest we set is usually 5-6". We had one job that we lost about 10 trees and when we pulled them out they still had the twine and the burlap around, just like right after it was dug. We went back and found what crew planted them and then back charged the employees that still worked for us for the cost of the trees. Big job like this usually are scale pay around $28 -30 per hour, so we demand that is is always done right or they can pay for it to be done again.

Whitey4
08-06-2008, 07:06 PM
Where do you come up with this crap a you loosen the ball with no basket, even the wind keep breaking the feeder roots, if you take the basket off, secondly the baskets generally used the welds break before the tree is in it, that is why I pay extra for columbia bag and burlap baskets. secondly 90% percent of burlap is so cheap it pulls apart basketing the trees when you pull it. the three layers is because it had already rotted and they covered it up. There is treated and non treated burlap. Which non of it lasts 6 months anyways. The burlap didn't keep the tree dry, you have to water it, no sprinkler system, or rain counts. Go dig a 20 different kind of trees before you offer and look at the root systems, we average 95 to 98 percent sucess rate. Even planting at the wrong time of year. The 250 lbs are only 2 in trees, that is when they start getting a head on them, and do not look like they are from walmart. The most important thing is a big ball, less roots cut.

Might want to cut down on the caffiene. Most of my installs are small, like I said. Too many customers don't irrigate new plantings enough. Again, I pulled a two year old arborvitae and the cage and most of the burlap was still there. That was enough for me to remove the cage when I can, and to remove the burlap after it's in the hole. If the ball is wet, I've never had one fall apart on me. Then again, I am very gentle with the plants, and only do installs that can be done manually.

I've seen guys slam BnB's around...if it's handled roughly, if it's transported roughly...yeah, I'd leave all that crap on the ball. Cut down on the coffee...try a brew.

Travel'n Trees
08-07-2008, 01:37 AM
sorry no coffee for me but by the time a arborvitae root gets big enough to die from a star basket and die from it would be many years down the road, I am guessing over 15 years probably over 25 years from now but the fiberous roots would have a harder time due trying to live, to the stress of being loose in the ground. I just get tired of professionals, who don't hardly ever or never install trees advising people to do this, or advising a tree won't live if the hole is not twice the size of the ball. Ever heard that joke too?

Smallaxe
08-10-2008, 09:35 AM
The most common problem I have seen with BnB installs is the ball repelling water. A clay ball set in sandy soil needs special watering treatment to get going. The "NEW" idea of leaving the burlap wrapped to the trunk makes this problem even worse.

Getting water inside the ball is more important than whether you leave it wrapped or not. IMO.

quickmow
08-11-2008, 12:31 AM
Leave the basket on, just fold it down as much as possible and remove the top 1/3 of burlap. Don't leave air pockets when backfilling and always plant at the proper depth....

Whitey4
08-11-2008, 12:51 AM
The most common problem I have seen with BnB installs is the ball repelling water. A clay ball set in sandy soil needs special watering treatment to get going. The "NEW" idea of leaving the burlap wrapped to the trunk makes this problem even worse.

Getting water inside the ball is more important than whether you leave it wrapped or not. IMO.


This is how I see it as well... clay balls tend to hold VERY well if the wire is removed along with the burlap. Clay balls also tend to repel water. I actually beat those clay balls up a little bit after the plant is positioned... I'd rather have some feeder roots making contact with the new soil surroundings. That is where the nutrients are. That is also where I put Woodace Woodacre fert tabs... at the drip line, where the feeder root are.

Frankly, I think it is sloppy and lazy to just throw plants into the soil still in baskets and burlap. Don't tell me it's better for the plant.... it's a time saver for short cut installers, period. Large balls, a different story, but not for smallish BnB's.

Travel'n Trees
08-11-2008, 03:25 AM
I don't waste time on balls that are maginal in proper size I do not like to stunt the growth, and on move that is riskier, there are kind of tricks, m roots, triming the head of the tree back, wilt pruf, raising branches, clean gravel, super thrive, plv top soil enriched with compost and sand, misting system during transport. And clay repels and holds water, and I hope I didn't cut my feeder roots so much that they are at the edge of the ball.