We had just finished putting away our dogwoods for the year and we got a job where we needed seven of them- 4 pinks and three whites. When I was pulling them up in preparation of the burlapping process, I saw how happy the roots were.
Each and every one of the dogwoods was loaded with actively growing and expanding root systems.
When we burlap trees, we try not to remove ANY ROOTS. After all, with these trees it took two years for them to grow, why would we want to cut them off? Instead, we use our fingers to remove the wood chips then place the tree on a sheet of burlap.
Once placed on the burlap, we HURRY to tie the burlap up because we don’t want the tender roots to dry out. If the dry out they die, and we might as well have cut them off!
We use all our strength to tighten the burlap as tight as we can so the root ball is a sturdy presentable package, stable in transit in the truck, easily moved with a bobcat, and stable once in the ground (we NEVER stake trees).
Three done, four to go. As soon as these trees are balled and burlapped, they go ASAP onto a puddle with wet wood chips dumped on top of the root ball to rehydrate the roots quickly just in case they dried out.
Failure to follow these time-tested rules is akin to disrespecting the customer’s expectations for high quality trees, disrespectful to the tree itself for all the work it’s done while we have cared for them, and disrespectful to ourselves for not putting out 1,000% effort on each and every job requiring skilled relationships with our non-human friends. I’m serious when I say that I’m stressed each time I run across trees like these. If they are willing to work so hard for us, there is nothing that I won’t do for them to ease their move from our property to their final home.
The plan calls for a dogwood tree-lined driveway with up lighting and tons of other stuff planted next spring. The existing foliage was removed, thirty yards of top quality soil added, and mulch.
Right now, the dogwoods blend in with the surrounding trees, but it’s a start! All the laborious work was just finished, and all that needs to be done from now on is the planting of whatever the homeowner wants. Rocks and brush removed, 8” of soft topsoil and mulch. When it’s time to plant, it will be easy street!
But back to the dogwoods: the roots are actively growing all winter long. The soil stays moist all winter. The homeowner NEVER needs to water these trees this fall nor next spring which is the most advantageous reason most of us tree guys are fans of fall and late fall plantings.
On another planting, today we planted a row of privacy trees. Who wants to look at a zoning violation shed when there was none there before?
A couple of hours, and the groundwork has been done for immediate privacy. Fertilizer, great soil, and the right trees in the right spot make happy homeowners.
Moral of the story: fall planting is the BEST for all involved!