Field-grown Trees and Roots Plus Growers
A field-grown tree is planted into native soils, grown to a harvestable size, harvested prior to sale, and transported to the job site. Field-grown trees are referred to as balled and burlapped (B&B) because the root system is harvested and wrapped in burlap. Trees are frequently placed in wire baskets to support the root system and to make it possible to lift the tree by the root ball rather than the trunk.
Trees in a field-grown nursery are often maintained with drip irrigation, fertilizer, selective shoot pruning, and root pruning. Root pruning, drip irrigation and fertilizer help build a strong, dense root system, while selective pruning is used to guide the tree into the desired form.
Field-grown trees should be hardened-off or cured after harvesting. This hardening-off process lasts 3 to 4 weeks and it simply involves providing the tree with optimum irrigation during the few weeks after harvesting. This step, as simple as it may seem, is crucial to the health and survivability of the tree.
After the tree is hardened-off it is ready to ship to the landscape site. New roots that have begun to develop are ready to grow immediately into the landscape. These new roots growing outside of the burlap are a sign of quality. RPG members place tags on their trees reminding you to look for roots outside of the burlap. The RPG tag assures that you are planting a quality hardened-off tree.