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Never Planted a Tree HELP!!

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by WeatherMan, Jul 21, 2003.

  1. WeatherMan

    WeatherMan LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 693

    I have been doing Grounds Maint. for 3 years now and This year I started doing some installs. Anyway I have a customer who wants several trees planted they have A hugh root ball wraped in burlap Do I need to take the burlap off or leave in on?
  2. DirtTwist

    DirtTwist LawnSite Member
    Posts: 6

    you can leave it on, but pull it off the top of the ball and fold it down the side..
  3. NNJLandman

    NNJLandman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,306

    Your going to want to leave the burlap on but cut the strings on it so that eventually the roots of the tree will just push it off etc. Dig a large enough hole and put peat moss all around the sides of the hole and then mix some in with the backfilling dirt. Make sure that ur tree base/ball will not be above ground at all. A little below ground is better. Take the hose and as if you were going to take a drink out of it with no nozzle sit it right at the base of the tree and let it run for 15 mins. Tell the homeowner they must continuily water the tree probably two times a day for 2 or 3 weeks. Depending on the temperature so it won't dry up. Any more questions just ask me.

  4. fblandscape

    fblandscape Banned
    Posts: 776

    Actually, you want to dig the hole a bit shallow. You want for the hole to be similar in shape to a bowl. Probably about 2x the size of the root ball. Do not amend the soil at all, unless you are going to do that to the whole area. You want to plant the tree slightly high, because the soil underneath it will settle. Cut the string, and remove it. Take the burlap and loosen it, roll it off the top. Do your best to cut away the wire cage. Also look for any girdling roots and get rid of those now.
  5. drobson

    drobson LawnSite Member
    Posts: 237

    I like to dig the hole about a foot to a foot and a half deeper than necessary and then fill it back in before planting. This makes sure there are no obstructions too close to the root ball when it begins to spread out. It also makes sure the soil is not too compacted. Don't leave it too loose though, but it won't be packed in like it was. Also, if it's like it is around here, solid clay after about a foot down, you may want to add some good soil. Also if there is a wire around the root ball, I cut that off before planting and if needed add twine to hold the root ball together when planting. This will make it so that when you cut the twine after it's in the hole, you can just leave it there. You don't want to leave the wire there if you can help it. Although it will break down eventually, it will take years longer than the twine.
  6. WeatherMan

    WeatherMan LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 693

    Thanks for all the help :)
  7. brentlent

    brentlent LawnSite Member
    Posts: 26

    1st. - If you can wait, purchase and plant the tree in the fall. If you buying a B&B tree in July it was most likely dug in the spring or last fall and is already stressed out.

    2nd. - Most studies show that B&B trees don't need amended soil.

    3rd. Cut the top of the burlap back after the tree is planted. Also, don't leave any of it exposed or it will act as a wick and dry out the roots.

    4th. If it has a wire basket, leave it on. Wire baskets are used on large trees that need the help holding the root ball in tact. After a few years the wire will rust away and it won't get in the way of the root development.

    5th. I don't advise digging the hole any deeper than the root ball. Most likely it will settle and the tree will be too low. Then, root rot and lack of water become an issue.
  8. Peach

    Peach LawnSite Member
    Posts: 86

    ditto what Brentlent said. I've planted several hundred and lose very very few. We do it just the way he said.

    ditto also buying the tree this fall .... add the fact that most nursery stock is well picked over. Only the scraps are left.

    Good Luck
  9. GLAN

    GLAN Banned
    Posts: 1,647

    I could just copy and paste brent's post for that is exactly what Cornell recommends. Adding that you dig the hole twice the width.

    Also tree stakes are not necessary, for in fact you want some sway with the winds. It actualy makes the tree stronger. Unless you are planting what I see our town plants. Trees 8 - 10' tall, root ball the size of a 5 gallon bucket. Those will blow over with just a breeze.
  10. KenH

    KenH LawnSite Bronze Member
    from CT
    Posts: 1,622

    I agree on no soil ammendments, and not digging the hole deeper than the rootball. They are teaching things differently now.

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