Using burlap aids in safeguarding fine tree roots as they get taken from the nursery to your house. But then the question becomes, "when planting a tree, do I remove the burlap?“
Planting Trees with Burlap
Burlap keeps trees together until they’re securely put into a planting hole. At this stage, you can take off most of the burlap.
Take the Burlap Off When Planting
Yes, and you should remove as much as you can. Once the tree is put safely in the hole, slice and take off the burlap from around the bottom of the trunk. Next, work your way down the root ball and eliminate as much burlap as you can.
This can aid in lessening the possibility of girdling roots and dehydration. That’s when the roots develop near the trunk and hinder the tree’s ability to carry nutrients and water.
Wire Baskets and Planting Trees
If you are using wire baskets instead of burlap, take off at least the top third of the basket from the root ball. That's all you have to do.
If you attempt to take off more, you raise the possibility that the root ball will start to deteriorate and tear apart.
Planting a Tree Wrapped in Burlap
To move your tree, hold or roll it by the root ball. Don’t ever move it holding on to the branches or trunk.
Dig a saucer-shaped hole as deep down as the root ball and twice as big.
Place your tree, so the spot where the roots connect to the trunk is slightly above or at the ground — that known as the root flare. The greatest mistake is folks planting new trees too deep. Also, be sure the ground under the root ball is stable so that the tree doesn’t sink lower due to its weight.
Cut the cord and take the burlap off from around the trunk base and the root ball top. It’s difficult to tell the difference between organic and synthetic. Sometimes, organic burlap doesn’t decompose correctly.
If you aren’t sure about removing the burlap on your own, contact an arborist to do the job for you.