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Can anyone answer this?

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by mikey, Apr 3, 2002.

  1. mikey

    mikey LawnSite Member
    Posts: 81

    i planted 2 small trees for a friend of mine last summer ,i planted them in big seperate pots i used dirt and some potting soil and i left the burlap on the tree and cut away a little of it around the
    trunk of the tree.i dont remember whats the name of the trees were. there those little trees that are very pinchy a triangular shape and are pinchy like a cactus tree.anyway he showed me them today and 1 is in awsome shape still green and the othe rone is brown and dried out it looks like its dead one is under a
    big tree thats very high up and the other one is out in the open next to it on the patio.My question is why did 1 die and the other
    one look great.Also can i bring this back to lifesomehow any medicine or anything like that i can add?
  2. BigJim

    BigJim LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 382

    No sounds like its well dead:cry: Hard to say without seeing it but I think your friend might have forgotten to water one of them.You also need to take the burlap off balled plants when you plant them,it could be another reason one died,if the roots are still constrained by the burlap they cant grow out into the surrounding soil,the root ball gets dry and the poor old tree dies.You did the right thing mixing some soil with the potting mix,that helps keep the moisture in the potting mix,unfortunately if you mix garden soil in there is the possibility it had a soil fungus diesease in it,its best to use a sterilised soil in pots if you can get it.Never mind one survived so thats 50% sucess rate,off to the nursery to find a similar sized replacement and try again.But tell your friend he's got to water it.Cheers.......
  3. AGLA

    AGLA LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,742

    Another thing to watch out for with leaving burlap is that if it makes contact with the air it can wick water away from the root ball through evaporation.
    Scratch the twig on the dead looking one to see if it shows any green. I'm guessing from your description that these could be Pyracantha topiarys that you planted. They can be semi-evergreen meaning that if one is more exposed it may have shed its leaves while the other one did not. One may be just as healthy as the other...but, maybe not.
  4. LawnLad

    LawnLad LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 738

    It could be Picea glauca 'Conica', or Dwarf Alberta Spruce - if it looks like a litte "pine" tree. Spider mites get to these guys readily. Don't know without seeing it.
  5. SCL

    SCL LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 543

    We've planted inumerable amounts of trees in the burlap. None lost yet. The only rule is that you have to get the top string from around the trunk. Look for another reason. Watering, mites, borers. etc...
  6. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    from your description, they sound like alberta spruce. is one in the shade? i once planted one in shade, it looked deader than dead, moved it to a full sun area, its still living today(that was 8 yrs ago) also, mites love these plants. take a piece of white paper cupped in yur hand, hold it under the tree and shake it, look at the paper, if u see little red dots running around on the paper, they r mites. also, results vary i know, but i never lose plants or trees when i remove the burlap. when i dont, i tend to lose one now and then. soooooo, yur guess.
  7. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,839

    From the description I was thinking dwarf alberta spruce too. Does it look like the picture I have included below?

    If so, I agree with the others who mentioned the spider mite problems. Although I've never seen them kill a dwarf alberta spruce in one year though. That's REALLY fast. Chances are there was another reason it died.

    When we first began planting trees and plants I thought I was doing it all correctly. I had read all the books and was digging the holes properly, ammending the soil, etc. But we would still lose about 20-30% of the trees and plants on every install we did. Finally, an experienced landscaper friend of mine taught me a few tricks I'll be forever thankful for. He said to me, "Your problem is you're not using the right fertilizer and you're not watering correctly." He continued, "If you'll go get yourself some fertilizer tabs (these are being phased out nowadays in favor of the tea bag kind of fertilizer packets, but still the same thing) and then water your tree as you are planting it and water again after you're all done, they'll always live."

    So ever since he told me that, we do that on every plant and tree. We put a few fertilizer tabs in and water real well and we get about 99% success rate these days.

    Now there are a few varieties of trees and shrubs that have other concerns when they are planted. And that's why you always want to be familiar with the needs of every plant or tree you plant. Cherries, for instance, are prone to root rot in our area if you don't build them on a mound and add a lot of sandy soil so they can drain. Simularly, Rhodies and Azaleas like to be planted this way and also need a more acidic fertilizer. You gotta learn this stuff if you're gonna be planting much.

    But as a general rule, the fertilizer tabs (or bags) plus watering during and immediately after planting will do more toward your success rate than anything else will.

    dwarf alberta spruce 3.jpg
  8. mikey

    mikey LawnSite Member
    Posts: 81

    its very similar but the one i planted seem to be more
    pinchier if that even sounds right?if u touch it it pinches you
    but its not anything like a cactus or anything like that ,that picture could very well be it its very similar.....thanks
  9. DaveK

    DaveK LawnSite Member
    Posts: 84

    The burlap won't stop the roots from growing, they will grow right through it. If you are worried that they won't grow through the bulap, cut a few slits in it before setting it in the hole. And if the root ball gets dry enough to kill it, the surrounding soil will also be dry.

    Now that is true. You shouldn't take the bulap off the whole ball. It is even best if you leave it on till you set it in the hole. Then cut the burlap off the top of the ball, so it won't act as a wick, before burying it.

    Which one died, the one on the patio or the one under the tree?
  10. mikey

    mikey LawnSite Member
    Posts: 81

    the one that was xposed to the sun the one slightly under the big maple tried looked brand new?

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