B & B Tree - What Does That Mean?

By Keith Markensen

Practically all varieties of trees and shrubs prefer a well drained location with plenty of water. Poor subdrainage is frequently the correct diagnosis for trees or shrubs presenting small bronzy foliage that droops and appears unhappy. The proper installation of drain pipes is the best cure for these sick trees or shrubs.

The proper steps for successful shade tree planting are not difficult to take. Select your trees at a local nursery, preferably when they are dressed in their bright fall colors. Well grown trees from the nursery have developed an abundance of fibrous roots which have resulted from occasional transplanting. Hence, they transplant more successfully than woods trees which usually have few fibrous roots.

For trees to be handled bare-rooted, select those about two inches in diameter or smaller. Good species of shade trees such as sugar maple, red oak, pin oak and sweet gum, which are larger than two inches in diameter, are usually best handled with a ball of soil burlapped firmly about the roots - B & B, in other words. Have the trees delivered on one of your gardening days, and try to have the holes dug before they arrive.

If the trees are about two-inch size, dig the holes four feet across and two feet deep. Remove the sod and keep it in a pile by itself so it can be placed in the bottom of the finished hole. If the excavated soil is placed on burlap, canvas or plastic, the clean up job will be easier and more thorough. When the trees arrive, place them in the shade and cover the roots with wet burlap sacks to prevent the fibrous roots from drying out. Remove them from the pile one by one as planting progresses.

Pruning of these trees and dracaena fragrans massangeana being handled bare-rooted should consist of removing about one-third of the branch area, to balance up for loss of roots and to aid the tree in the formation of a symmetrical top. Prune to eliminate V-shaped crotches and interfering branches. All cuts should be made close to parent branches to encourage wound healing and avoid the presence of dead stubs, which invite borers and diseases.

It will probably be necessary to fill the holes about half full of the loose, pulverized soil in order that the trees may be set at approximately the same level as they were growing in the nursery row. Turn the tree so that it appears at its best in the location chosen for it. Trees in the open lawn are generally planted with the heaviest side to the south since growth is usually greatest on the north due to prevailing southerly winds at the time when most active growth is being made. - 29857

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