Originally Posted by Red Shed Landscaping
I have never taken off the burlap and basket when planting. I haven't had a tree or shrub die from it but i have had to replace them when the homeowners didn't give it enough water or over fertilized.
I was taught in college that there is no need to remove it since the roots will grow right through it. I have been to many nurseries where the roots are growing like crazy through the burlap.
The reason they died are more likely from some other reason.
I'd have to agree here. I was taught in school as well and also by a nursery owner who I worked for that the only thing you should do is peal back the burlap from the top of the ball and around the trunk and tuck it down in the hole. You are risking damaging the ball or having it crack when you're screwing around trying to get the burlap out from under it. Once that ball cracks or breaks.........................goodnight tree/shrub.
Now, synthetic burlap......different story.