Return to the Professional Gardener Forum | Post a Follow-Up

How to hand dig, B&B and drum lace root ball

Posted by sam_md z7 MD (My Page) on
Mon, May 6, 13 at 19:40

If you visit your local wholesale yard you will see thousands of field grown, B&B stock all machine dug and in wire baskets. The wire helps to protect the ball from the slings, hooks and fork lifts that we use to move the plants around.
What to do if no machine is available and you need to dig a tree? We have to fall back on the time honored method of hand digging. A major part of the value of the finished plant is in the quality of the B&B job. Here is how I hand dig a Hinoki Cypress.
Materials - burlap, spade (I use AM Leonard) file, pinning nails, twine, felcos and calipers.
 photo 05-06-13001.jpg
Tie up the branches, this protects the tree while digging and also while in transport.
 photo 04-22-13001.jpg
Shave soil off the top until you reach roots. Define the size of the root ball, you can consult American Standard for Nursery Stock for root ball sizes.
 photo 05-01-13002.jpg
Dig down forming the ball as you go, cut roots with the sharp spade, use mattock if you find stones.
 photo 05-01-13004.jpg
Pin on burlap.
 photo 05-03-13001.jpg
Pin on top ring of twine, I usually double the twine for this.
 photo 05-03-13002.jpg
Make bottom ring, them go up and down all around the root ball.
 photo 05-03-13003.jpg
Remove nails in top ring and lace it up as shown to form the star. Ball will tighten up with this step.
 photo 05-03-13004.jpg
Break loose the ball at the bottom by tilting, if roots are coming out of the bottom they will have to be cut. Don't try to lift the ball. Throw soil under the root ball as you tilt from side to side and the ball will rise to the surface, then roll it out.
 photo 05-05-13002.jpg
Patch up the bottom with burlap and lace it up, cinch it up good and tight. Move with ball cart or loader.

Follow-Up Postings:

 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!

Return to the Professional Gardener Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.

Learn more about in-text links on this page here