Replacing B&B trees?

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by meets1, Oct 1, 2013.

  1. ron mexico75

    ron mexico75 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,054

    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.
  2. whiffyspark

    whiffyspark LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,563

    Probably over watering.

    We don't remove it neither. Just cut the string the holds the wire up and fold the burlap and wire down
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  3. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    I've actually seen trees that had their roots grow around these wire baskets and end up with serious troubles... fast growing trees like maples have the biggest issue that I've seen...

    It bothers me what might happen to other slower growing trees that I may never see again...

    I typically remove the wire basket with bolt cutters so it doesn't disturb the root ball as much,,, then I open the burlap and fold it back at least 1/2 way down to be sure that it doesn't repel water...

    When open like that it receives water and will rot normally... with the burlap up to the base of the trunk it actually repels water,,, which is why when you pull it out of wet soil, the rootball itself is completely bone dry...
  4. ReddensLawnCare

    ReddensLawnCare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,651

    I have seen maples crack concrete, sewer pipes(cast iron) and the trees are still growing. Roots are strong and those baskets are soft metal and will rip out if the way as the roots grow. How are you sure the baskets caused the problems?
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  5. sjessen

    sjessen LawnSite Platinum Member
    Male, from Knoxville, Tn
    Messages: 4,792

    Seems the protocol on baskets and burlap changes from year to year. Read locally that the current recommendations are to cut off the top 6" of a wire basket and remove the top portion of burlap leaving the lower section as is.

    How does that compare with your area?
  6. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    Wire and rope gets "Grown around",,, not pushed aside... same as wire fences anchored to trees above ground,,, the same thing happens underground...

    Your examples are real,,, but it does not apply to wire... :)
  7. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    I thought the 'Academic Elite" were absolute,,, in their wisdom and knowledge... It is easy to ignore those that have seen things happen over the years and believe what you want to believe w/out understanding , "Why"...

    It is better to figure out the whys and wherefores than it is to blindly follow anyone,,, including the, academics... :)
  8. GVL LLC

    GVL LLC LawnSite Member
    Messages: 154

    Ill say one thing, the burlap may disintegrate below the soil but i know for one thing that the rope that is usually used to tie the burlap on doesnt disintegrate so i always remove that and I try to remove as much burlap and wire basket as possible once the tree is in the hole.
  9. milanis

    milanis LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    The MOST important thing to check before planting b&b trees is the type of burlap used, whether it's treated or natural. If it's treated, you'd better cut it back sufficiently from the top to permit the roots to extend. It'll be a good idea to cut through the bottom areas as well. Many burlap treatments are almost like a plastic container, so there will be NO ROOT GROWTH through it if left in place. On the other hand, if it's natural, there's no issue about leaving it in place as it will biodegrade within few months depending on soil conditions surrounding it. Regardless of what you've read or heard, leaving the wire basket in place does not impede root growth, though it is true that once the size of the root penetrating the wire basket reaches the opening size in the basket, it will grow around the wire...something like 50 years later! (How long is your warranty?) And that doesn't mean it'll die at that point.

    Lastly, let's face it, the sisal twine tying the basket to the trunk needs to be natural also, not plastic, for the same reasons. If plastic, you've got to cut it away so the trunk doesn't get cut into and starve the tree of nutrients, while the natural twine will biodegrade within a couple of months. Importantly, if it's natural twine, it helps stabilize the tree in the hole and minimizes, somewhat, the need for extensive staking.
  10. Groomer

    Groomer LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,681

    all the trees visible in this pic were planted BB intact some time ago and seem to be doing nicely.

    fine pix 001.jpg

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