Planting B & B Trees?

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by New2TheGreenIndustry, Aug 5, 2008.

  1. New2TheGreenIndustry

    New2TheGreenIndustry LawnSite Senior Member
    from GA
    Messages: 925

    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?
  2. procut

    procut LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,852

    You can leave it on.
  3. Whitey4

    Whitey4 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,448

    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.
  4. New2TheGreenIndustry

    New2TheGreenIndustry LawnSite Senior Member
    from GA
    Messages: 925

    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.
  5. Dstosh

    Dstosh LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 716

    I do pretty much the same thing. cut/remove wire and as much burlap as possible.
  6. Whitey4

    Whitey4 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,448

    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....
  7. jhill603085

    jhill603085 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 5

    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.
  8. TurfdudeNCSU

    TurfdudeNCSU LawnSite Member
    Messages: 76

    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.
  9. Whitey4

    Whitey4 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,448

    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.
  10. AGLA

    AGLA LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,776

    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.

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