Can't find root flare on b&b'ed tree
I recently got a Stewartia (from a major local nursery) and planted it. It's about 7+' tall and still pretty skinny/seems young.
Anyway, not being very familiar with balled and burlapped trees I took out the burlap, did some light scoring of the ball (now I hear that's a no-no), and planted it. I dug a little from the top (let's say 2-3") and found some hairy/thin little fibrous roots that just came out with the soil. I got afraid I was going to far and stopped, so it is planted at that height (but I just planted it).
After some research it looks like I truly should find the root flare. So, just now I cleared away a few more inches to see if I could find it and I still couldn't. The trunk gets wider, but I just hit more fibrous roots and I still haven't found any substantial roots. I'm afraid of going to far and damaging the root system. I've gone about 6" so far from the original soil height and at this rate I've nearly gone half the depth of the original ball. The soil around the trunk now is fairly compacted and there are increasing thin fibrous roots so I do have to use quite a bit of effort to dig more soil from the trunk with my fingers.
Is it possible there is no root flare?
Or do I just keep going?