Wow! Look at the size of that root ball. It's bigger than our ball cart! How do little Pillywiggins manage such large trees? They call in the machines to help. These trees were delivered in the morning & planted the same day! See how we did it below.
Tree Planting 101
We were called to a site recently to meet with a new customer and his neighbor to discuss their landscaping needs. Of particular concern were the new trees that had been purchased and installed about 2 months prior by another nursery/landscaping company. The owner said the trees looked healthy when they were planted but soon began to show signs of stress & decline. The trees were already beginning to die. A quick glance was all that was needed to determine the problem.
When burlap is exposed (as shown in these photos) it acts like a candlewick drawing moisture from the earth up to the surface where it simply evaporates. The problem is the burlap underground completely surrounds the tree's root ball. Leaving a tail of burlap exposed like this is a direct attack against the tree's root system. Wicking moisture away from the earth surrounding the root system is starving the tree!
Further investigation revealed all 8 of the trees installed had exposed burlap and/or large tails of attached burlap covered only by a light layer of mulch. (A few trees were left with the wire root basket handles poking out of the ground!) NONE of the trees were planted deep enough as you can see in the photo above. Note the highlighted area. That hump isn't a mulch volcano, it's the top of the tree's root ball covered with mulch!
B&B trees (balled & burlapped) are larger trees with root systems too large to fit in a plastic container. Instead, the roots are bound in burlap to keep them safe. Burlap is a woven fabric made from natural organic materials such as jute or sisal so it is biodegradable and designed to be planted with the tree. However, when you unbind the twine that secures the burlap & root ball, you must also cut away all of the excess burlap at the top of the root ball. When planted, ALL remaining burlap must be buried deeply underground with the roots.