When you buy a high-quality tree, plant it correctly, and treat
it properly, you and your tree will benefit greatly in many ways
for many years.
When you buy a low-quality tree, you and your tree will have
many costly problems even if you take great care in planting and
What Determines Tree Quality?
A high-quality tree has
- enough sound roots to support healthy growth.
- a trunk free of mechanical wounds and wounds from incorrect
- a strong form with well-spaced, firmly attached branches.
A low-quality tree has
- crushed or circling roots in a small root ball or small
- a trunk with wounds from mechanical impacts or incorrect
- a weak form in which multiple stems squeeze against each other
or branches squeeze against the trunk.
Any of these problems alone or in combination with the others
will greatly reduce the tree’s chances for a long, attractive,
healthy, and productive life.
When buying a tree, inspect it carefully to make certain it does
not have problems with roots, injuries, or form. rolex replica sale
acronym RIF; it will help you remember roots, injuries, and f
Here are some details on potential problems and some other
considerations that you should be aware of when buying a tree.
Roots on trees for sale are available as one of three types:
- bare root: no soil; usually on small trees
- root balled: roots in soil held in place by burlap or some other
fabric; the root ball may be in a wire basket
- container grown: roots and soil in a container
Bare roots should not be crushed or torn. The ends of the roots
should be clean cut. If a few roots are crushed, re-cut them to
remove the injured portions. Use
sharp tools. Make straight
cuts. Do not paint the ends. The cuts should be made immediately
before planting and watering.
You should be able to see the basal trunk flare. The flare is
the spreading trunk base that connects with the roots. Root
balls should be flat on top. Roots in soil in round bags often
have many major woody roots cut or torn during the bagging
process. rolex replica uk
Avoid trees with many crushed or torn roots.
The diameter of the root ball should be at least 10 to 12 times
the diameter of the trunk as measured 6 inches above the trunk
After placing the root ball in the planting site, cut the cords
and carefully pull away the burlap or other fabric. Examine any
roots that protrude from the soil. replica watches
If many roots are obviously
crushed or torn, the tree will have severe growth problems. If
only a few roots are injured, cut away only the injured
portions. Use a sharp tool. Use care not to break the soil ball
around the roots.
Cut the wire on wire baskets. Place the basket into the planting
site. Cut away at least the top two wires without disturbing the
root ball. Inspect exposed roots for injuries. If many roots are
injured, the tree may have serious growth problems.
Roots should not twist or circle in the container. Remove the
root ball from the container. Inspect the exposed larger roots
carefully to see whether they are twisting or turning in
circles. Circling roots often girdle and kill other roots. If
only a few roots are circling, cut them away with a sharp tool.
Trunk flare should be obvious. Be on alert for trees planted too
deeply in containers or trees “buried” in fabric bags. As with
root-balled stock, you should be able to see the basal trunk
flare with container-grown plants.
Beware of injuries beneath trunk wraps. Never buy a tree without
thoroughly checking the trunk. If the tree is wrapped, remove
the wrap and inspect the trunk for wounds, incorrect pruning
cuts, and insect injuries. Wrap can be used to protect the trunk
during transit but should be removed after planting.
Incorrect pruning cuts are major problems. Incorrect pruning
cuts that remove or injure the swollen collar at the base of
branches can start many serious tree problems, cankers, decay,
Incorrect pruning cuts that leave branch and leader stubs also
start disease and defect problems. Do not leave stubs.
A correct pruning cut removes the branch just outside of the
collar. A ring, or “doughnut,” of sound tissues then grows
around the cut. Do not make cuts flush to the
trunk. The closing
tissues may form only to the sides of the flush cuts. Trunk
tissues above and below flush cut branches often die. When the
heat of the sun or the cold of frost occurs, cracks or long,
dead streaks may develop above and below the dead spots.
Good, strong form, or architecture, starts with branches evenly
spaced along the trunk. The branches should have firm, strong
attachments with the trunk.
Squeezed branches signal problems. Weak branch unions occur
where the branch and trunk squeeze together. As the squeezing
increases during diameter growth, dead spots or cracks often
begin to form below where the branch is attached to the trunk.
Once this problem starts, the weak branch attachment could lead
to branches cracking or breaking during mild to moderate storms.
When several branches are on the same position on the trunk, the
likelihood of weak attachments and cracks increases greatly. As
the branches grow larger and tighter together, the chances for
Avoid trees with two or more stems squeezing together. As stems
squeeze together, cracks often form down the trunk. The cracks
could start from squeezed multiple leader stems or where the two
trunks come together.
If you desire a tree with multiple trunks, such as a birch
clump, make certain that the trunks are well separated at the
Remember, trunks expand in diameter as they grow. Two trunks may
be slightly separated when small, but as they grow in girth, the
trunks will squeeze together.
Look for early signs of vertical trunk cracks. Examine branch
unions carefully for small cracks below the unions. Cracks are
major starting points for fractures of branches and trunks. The
small cracks could be present for many years before a fracture
happens. Always keep a close watch for vertical cracks below
squeezed branches and squeezed trunks.
If your tree has only a few minor problems, corrective pruning
may help. Start corrective pruning one year after planting.
Space the pruning over several years.
Remove broken or torn branches at the time of planting. After a
year, start corrective pruning by removing the branches that
died after planting.