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How to Use Burlap as a Root Ball Wrap

Burlap as a Root Ball Wrap The top-grade burlap we have sold for the past seven decades has been a priority product for professional nurserymen, landscapers, architects, engineers and gardeners. This top-grade burlap is primary for agricultural, landscaping and nursery supplies industries, and the functionality of burlap of this quality is part of the reason it has endured as a standard. For instance, the newly-forming roots of trees and plants are damaged when they are being moved into a permanent location. However, burlap has a unique quality that allows it to absorb water while also providing a loose weave that promotes oxygen in order to heal and protect the disrupted roots.

In addition, burlap is ahead of the eco-friendly products trend because it is easy to both reuse it and to recycle it. If it is buried, it will breakdown within a short period of time and return to the earth. On top of that, burlap is created from jute, and this is a renewable resource. Jute is also a genus Corchorus plant species that is highly compatible with trees and tree roots. Compared to plastic wrap that serves a similar function, burlap is the clear winner in the modern world, and many arborist, nursery supplies franchises or plant professionals choose it over other alternatives.

How to Create a Tree Root Ball from Burlap

Along with wire baskets, rope and burlap, tree nurseries will attempt to relocate a living tree with procedures that will not cause the tree to experience shock when it is moved from one home to another. In these situations, it is also beneficial if the soil within the burlap ball wrap includes some of the earth that was surrounding the tree roots while it was in its first home. Once the tree is removed and placed into a burlap square that has some extra soil, the ends are gathered to enclose the roots. The gathered burlap can then be temporarily secured with a rope, but the rope should not be too tight in order to avoid bruising the lower trunk of the tree. A wire basket can then be placed loosely around the tree root ball to secure it during transportation.

Creating a Tree Ball Wrap that Allows Roots to Breathe

After the tree has been wrapped and is ready for transport, there are a few things that can go wrong. For example, if the tree root balls are wrapped too tightly with wire baskets, it can cause the burlap not to be as breathable. This means the tree roots might not be getting enough oxygen. If you think the tree root ball will be stored for a long period of time before being planted in the ground, you can always remove the wire basket after it is at the new location. Otherwise, an experience nurseryman can help you decide whether you need your burlap tree ball re-wrapped.

How to Handle a Burlap Root Ball Properly

An experienced nursery supplies business can give you helpful advice about planting your tree. For instance, after transportation, transplanted trees can suffer if they are put in the wrong soil or shade. One other word of caution for tree planting is to ensure you have legal permission from utility companies before digging holes that disrupt underground wiring, plumbing or drainage. 

As for the actual planting of the tree, general advice includes digging a hole that will be the width of the root ball times three. The depth of the hole for the new tree will only need to be the same height as the root ball itself. When the hole digging is finished, the next step is to move the tree into the hole with the burlap covering still on it. This will help protect the roots while you are moving it. 

Once the tree is in the hole and in the right position, the excess burlap can be removed. Any extra burlap scraps can be left behind in the holes since they will biodegrade easily. After the removed soil is added back in around the tree roots, give the tree some water, but do not leave the water hose on overnight. After seven days of watering the tree every day, the tree will only need about a pint of water every day.


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