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The Ultimate Guide to Planting Trees: B&B vs Plastic Container


During the dormant season, trees and plants prioritize growing their root system. This foundation building helps the plant thrive during the growing months ahead.

A tree that comes in B&B has its rootball wrapped in a burlap sack and wire, which reduces the risk of becoming "rootbound." When planting, cut the bottom half of the wire and leave the top half intact for easier movement. Once the tree is in the hole, remove the remaining wire and as much burlap as possible. Tuck the remaining burlap down toward the bottom of the hole, where it will decompose over time. Amend the soil, tamp several times, build a posa around the tree, and water. Stake the tree if necessary.


A tree in a plastic container requires different steps to ensure it thrives. If possible, remove the tree from the container. If the tree is too large, cut away the plastic. The rootball will likely be "rootbound," growing in the shape of the container. Use pruners to scratch the rootball, breaking up the growth pattern of the roots. If this step is skipped, the roots will continue growing in the container's shape. Be careful when lowering the tree into the hole without burlap holding the rootball together. By following these steps, the tree will thrive whether it comes in a container or B&B.

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