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Is this a deal?

heybruck34

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Charlotte NC
I'm Joe Homeowner who needs a tree in his barren backyard. I saw an ad in the classifieds for the following:

"2-4 inch diameter Willow Oak trees balled and burlapped. $100 and up."

Is this a deal? I planted a red oak last year and it died. I think it was planting error (me) and adverse condititions (my dog dug it up once and later chewed on it).

Thanks everyone.
 

D Felix

LawnSite Bronze Member
Chances are that the $100 trees are 2" diameter trees, and park grade. Meaning the nice ones will run you a lot more.

I've never heard of a willow oak, though it may not survive here....


Dan
 

treedoc1

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Northern VA
$100 for a 2/2.5 is a normal wholesale price for nice willow oaks.

Best sucess is don't remove the wire basket, cut the twine before you mulch, try to keep the root package intact.

Don't plant it too deep.
 

D Felix

LawnSite Bronze Member
Since when has it been OK to NOT remove the wire basket?

The only time I know of is if you know you will be replacing the tree in a year or less, having the basket still there makes it much easier to remove the dead tree.:rolleyes:

To properly plant a tree, you need to find the root flare in the ball. The root flare is where the trunk turns into roots, the trunk "flares" out, hence the term. The tree should be planted either at, or slightly above the root flare at finished grade. Chances are the flare is down in the ball a decent amount, I've personally seen them as deep as 8 inches, in a 28" ball!

By not planting at PROPER depth, you will not only cause the tree to grow much slower, chances are that it won't live past 2-3 years. If it does survive that long, chances are even greater for a girdling root to kill the tree prematurely.

Dig the hole the proper depth (after you've found the root flare- use a trowel to excavate CAREFULLY), drop the tree in the hole, then, using bolt cutters, cut as much of the basket away as you can. The more the better. If you can get it all that's the best way to go. Contrary to popular belief, the basket DOES NOT rust away in the ground. The basket itself can even lead to girdling roots.

HTH.


Dan
 

kris

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
nowhere
We remove about one third of the burlap and basket. I don't believe they are making the baskets as strong as they use to. girdling shouldn't be is an issue. I think it is unrealistic to try and remove any more than a third. Time is one factor and I could see alot of guys doing more harm than good to the root ball.
 

philk17088

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
South Central PA
I have always wondered about the baskets, I cut off what I can and bend the rest down. When I started in this business, all good nursery stock was drum-laced ball and burlap, no baskets. That was the first thing I learned to do at a nursery right out of college. Old Italian guy, spoke maybe ten words of English taught me. The way and the speed in which he did it was an art.

I'll stop showing my age now.
 

kris

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
nowhere
Originally posted by philk17088
When I started in this business, all good nursery stock was drum-laced ball and burlap, no baskets. That was the first thing I learned to do at a nursery right out of college. Old Italian guy, spoke maybe ten words of English taught me. The way and the speed in which he did it was an art.

I'll stop showing my age now.
Me too Phil... we use to dig 2 " caliper trees in the field by hand then drum lace and burlap them...my teacher was a Portuguese guy. Tough as nails! He would always tell me to sit down and take it easy(always tried to keep up to him) and I'd sharpen the edging shovels by hand with a file while I had a break ..... sounds like one of those stories you tell the kids. You know I had to walk 10 miles to school..up hill both ways:)
 

D Felix

LawnSite Bronze Member
I'll show my age here too, only it's on the other end of the spectrum.:D

I wish I knew how to lace a ball by hand... The only good way I know to B&B a tree is with a basket and machine spade. I've dug by hand before, but haven't quite gotten the lacing down.

Maybe one of these days I'll learn.:)


Dan
 

P&C Lawn Care

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Yukon Oklahoma
Willow Oaks make nice trees. Learn how to plant a tree before you buy anything nice. Make sure you remove the burlap/basket and any twine to prevent girdleing. Put the right tree in the right place, look at how big the tree will be in 10 to 20 years from now.

Look at this site below it may help.

http://osuextra.okstate.edu/pdfs/F-6414web.pdf
 


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