2 years in Rootmaker bags...

Wny Hunter

A good 3 year old buck
So here is my dilemma . I received bare root trees from Cummins in the spring of 2019. I over ordered , thinking I had more space then I did. I decided to “plant” them in 7 gallon Rootmaker bags , filled with a mix of Dr.Earth organic potting soil and humus . They were kept caged in my backyard , receiving regular watering, training ,pruning, etc. I now have my area cleaned up and opened up out at hunting camp. I plan on planting them sometime this month. My concern is circling with my roots and how to go about planting them. I have already planted 15 out at camp over the past 4 years, but that was bare root trees , straight from the nursery. I guess my concern is , do I cut off the bags and spray the roots to break up the soil? Almost like I’m starting from scratch with bare root trees. Or is that soil going to be so intertwined with the roots it will cause me to have air pockets . I watched a video on youtube where a gentleman took the bags off and kind of “released” the roots along the outside of the soil mass. Hunting camp is located in 5b
 

sandbur

5 year old buck +
When ready to plant, take the bag off and see if you can separate/ straighten them by hand. Make sure you have something along like an old hand saw if you have to cut through some roots.

I would favor planting them early, before leaves emerge in case you need to damage roots.


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DrDirtNap

5 year old buck +
I use 7 gal root pouch bags all the time. I always cut the bag along the seam on the side and then pull the bag down off the root soil ball. Most of the time the roots are air-pruned along the side so all you have to do is drop it in the planting hole but occasionally there will be some root circling that you have to take care. Most of the time I cut off the badly circled roots. Has worked well for me. Oh and by the way if you cut the bag along the seam you can use a stapler and staple it back up and reuse again. Very efficient.


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Troubles Trees

5 year old buck +
Some tree types take root pruning better than others and I am sure others on here have more experience with this situation but I would assume it would be ideal if you could prep the hole then remove the bags and keep the majority of the rootball and dirt intact and attempt to untangle or cut the circling roots.
Another fellow NY'er, welcome!
 

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
So here is my dilemma . I received bare root trees from Cummins in the spring of 2019. I over ordered , thinking I had more space then I did. I decided to “plant” them in 7 gallon Rootmaker bags , filled with a mix of Dr.Earth organic potting soil and humus . They were kept caged in my backyard , receiving regular watering, training ,pruning, etc. I now have my area cleaned up and opened up out at hunting camp. I plan on planting them sometime this month. My concern is circling with my roots and how to go about planting them. I have already planted 15 out at camp over the past 4 years, but that was bare root trees , straight from the nursery. I guess my concern is , do I cut off the bags and spray the roots to break up the soil? Almost like I’m starting from scratch with bare root trees. Or is that soil going to be so intertwined with the roots it will cause me to have air pockets . I watched a video on youtube where a gentleman took the bags off and kind of “released” the roots along the outside of the soil mass. Hunting camp is located in 5b

If they are root maker bags, they should be root pruning with no circling or j-hooking. That is the whole purpose of the Rootmaker container system. You want to disturb the roots as little as possible. The only issue I see is the media depending on your soil. I have heavy clay. The clay has very slow infiltration and the medium very fast. This can cause ponding. There are several things you can do if you have heavy clay. If you have sandy soil, you should be OK as sand is infiltrated fast.

First, I use a tractor auger to dig a deep hole the same diameter as the container. I then use stone to fill the bottom of the hole and then cover the stone with a little native clay soil. I fill to a level so that the rootball will stay about 1" above the soil line. I try to find a level or slightly mounded spot so no ground water can drain in. I then add the tree. I scrap sand up over the top of the root ball. I then add landscaping cloth.

In the spring when it is wet, excess water that infiltrates the media, ends up in the stone and does not impact the roots. Because the hole is very close in diameter to the rootball, it doesn't take long for the lateral roots to penetrate the clay. So, during the dry summer when the media dries out, the tree can still get moisture from the clay that retains it.

Thanks,

Jack
 

Wny Hunter

A good 3 year old buck
Thank you for the replies. You have eased my concerns and I’m looking forward to getting these beauties in the ground very soon.
 
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