1. Rest in Peace Paul (Kegger) If you would like to help the family in this time of great sorrow and need, you may donate on their GoFundme page: https://www.gofundme.com/mckechnie-medical-and-funeral-fund?
    Dismiss Notice

Tree transplant root broken off - will it survive?

Discussion in 'General Off Topic Forums' started by roger2, Apr 19, 2017.

  1. roger2

    roger2 . Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,736
    Location:
    indiana
    This week I had a local nursery plant a small redbud tree at my Mother's house. It is about 5' tall and came "balled and burlapped".

    After the nursery crew left I did some research on the internet because I was not comfortable with the haste with which the planting was done. At that time, the main thing I was curious about was planting depth, so I removed mulch and soil from around the trunk in order to have a look at the "root flare", and that is when I discovered this broken root.



    Will this tree have a chance to survive, and flourish, with this root broken as it is? Will it simply grow more roots, or is this a significant blow to the health of the tree?

    How could this have happened? If you look closely at the pics, you can see that not only has the root been pulled off of the tree, it is also displaced about 1.5 inches away from the trunk, which makes no sense to me.


    DSC08978rs800.jpg DSC08985rs800.jpg DSC08990rs800.jpg
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2017
  2. sKiZo

    sKiZo Hates received: 8641 Subscriber

    I suppose it could survive, but that IS a primary tap on a tree that size, and that would certainly weaken the tree's vitality. Why take chances if you don't have to?

    Any reputable nursery should replace that for ya free of charge. Show them the pics, and especially point out that the broken trunk is covered with mud, as it would have been if it was buried that way. Also not the sort of damage you could do with a trowel.
     
  3. roger2

    roger2 . Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,736
    Location:
    indiana
    Thanks. Yes that is why I put the trowel into some of the pics. In case I go back to the nursery and they ask me what tool I used. But it can also be seen that the root was pulled away, not cut, as there are no tool marks on the trunk. Also, the broken root was a few inches below the top of the burlap, which was not removed during the planting process.

    Any other opinions? Will it survive and flourish? And how could this have happened?
     
  4. trinhsman

    trinhsman Active Member

    Messages:
    483
    As long as the ball of dirt was intact, the tree will survive. You may want to prune it back a bit to bring the tree top in balance with the root structure. Right now, keep it watered well until you see strong growth. A good fertilizer with higher later numbers will help the roots (488, 51010, etc)
     
  5. Dave_1962

    Dave_1962 Lunatic Member

    Messages:
    13,147
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    It looks like the nursery staff broke the root in harvesting or transport or maybe even in replanting and tried to cover it up. I can't see any other roots in your pic but I have read that most trees can survive root removal as long as it isn't more than 25% of the root system.If that is one of two main roots I think they owe you a tree.
     
  6. petehall347

    petehall347 the brandy coffee man Subscriber

    Messages:
    22,411
    Location:
    uk.. the middle bit
    my guess it will be fine .. take cuttings and grow them in the meantime just to be sure .
     
  7. sKiZo

    sKiZo Hates received: 8641 Subscriber

    Don't know about yall, but I'm getting old enough now, it's pretty much a crapshoot if I'll see the results of a planting, especially something like a tree ... ain't about to put up with anything that slows things down, eh.

    I'd still give them a visit and give em hell ... nicely for a start. Then again, they might just rewrap it and sell it to someone else.

    PS ... it's normal to leave the burlap in and just cut it back from the top and sides before backfilling. Minimum root disturbance is important.
     
  8. roger2

    roger2 . Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,736
    Location:
    indiana
    I mentioned the burlap only because this root was not visible as delivered and planted. Yeah, they should have removed the top part, or at least cut the ropes that were wrapped tight around the trunk. To me, not doing those things indicates haste (which does irritate me), but a moot point now that the tree is in the ground.

    As for age, my Mom is 81 and I want this tree to bloom for her next spring, and not fizzle out or struggle to come back a couple years down the road.

    I appreciate all who have responded :thumbsup:

    Anyone else have an opinion? Is this tree crippled or, being young and hardy, will it breeze through this root loss with ease?
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2017
  9. restorer-john

    restorer-john Super Member

    Messages:
    3,510
    Location:
    Australia
    I think they owe you a tree and an apology.

    It's for your Mum and you don't want her worrying that her tree was damaged from the start and might not make it.
     
  10. usedto

    usedto Lunatic Member

    Messages:
    15,531
    Location:
    Central Moonbeamia
    I wouldn't think it will matter much. Roots get broken off naturally and shoot out new ones to take their place.

    When we bought this place in 1986, we liked most of the plants, but not where they had been planted. After reading up on the "proper" way to transplant, a friend and I decided to just wrap a strap around the base and jerk them out with my forklift. We then just dug a hole, stuck them where we wanted them, and filled the holes in.

    Everything grew as if we had never touched them.
     
  11. Dennis Gardner

    Dennis Gardner Jazz Nut

    Messages:
    1,124
    I would simply take the pics that you showed us to them, and ask for their advice on whether they think it will make it or not. Most nurseries have a 1 year tree guarantee if they handle the planting. No reason to blame them, just get them to insure you that they guarantee their services.
     

Share This Page