Balled & Burlapped Plants

Tools & Supplies Needed

You will need the following:

  • 2-3 4-foot stakes if planting a tree, along with rope or other flexible tie material
  • Hose/water source
  • Pruning shears
  • Spade for digging hole and backfilling

Planting Steps

When you are ready to plant you must:

  1. Prepare a planting hole as described above. The depth of the hole should be the same as the soil in the root ball, and the width of the hole should be at least twice the width of the root ball.
  2. Place the root ball into the hole so that the soil surface will be at the same level where the plant was previously growing, as indicated by the slightly darker area of the trunk. This is usually the same level as the soil in the root ball. Trees should be planted so that the graft or trunk flare is 1" above the final soil surface.
  3. Cut the twine from the root ball and peel back the burlap and any metal basket or other material meant to hold the root ball together. It is not necessary to remove these materials from under the root ball. They can be pushed down along the sides of the root ball into the planting hole and buried. Be sure all parts of the burlap are buried well below the soil surface so that it doesn't wick moisture to the surface. Also be sure to remove all twine from around the trunk of the tree or shrub to allow the plant room for growth.
  4. Backfill the soil into the hole a few inches at a time, firming the soil after each addition. While backfilling, be sure the tree remains vertical.
  5. Form a ridge to hold water and stake trees as described above under Planting Bare Root Trees and Shrubs.
Diagram detailing balled tree planting requirements