Is This A Proper Installation?

menashe79July 14, 2014

Hi folks,

I just had a Japanese Maple professionally installed. It's about an 8' tall tree if I had to guess. The crew that came did some things that were new to me.

First, when they removed the burlap, they then removed the dirt surrounding the root system. My honest thoughts are that this was done to make it so that the hole they dug wasn't as deep (and it wasn' very...maybe 10").

Second, they then put the tree in the hole and immeadiately started watering it before filling the dirt back in and that was the only time they watered it. This was further stripping the dirt from the root as far as I could tell.

The end result is that it was so shallow, once they were done, you could actually rock the tree side to side by hand with little effort, and the entire base of the tree (roots and all) you can see is lifted up. They then staked it to fix that.

Is this normal? I've never seen this before. Maybe it's completely fine, but it's new to me so I have to ask.


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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

If the plant is set at the proper depth that is what we'd call a professional install. Kudos to whoever did it correctly.

JMs are a bit sensitive to root disturbance so hopefully they didn't remove too many fiboruous roots on the sides

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 2:55PM
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hairmetal4ever(Z7 MD)

A pic would help.

This procedure is called (among other things) 'mudding in'.

It accomplishes a few things that traditional planting doesn't always do properly:

1. Ensures complete soil-to-root contact (no air pockets and the "mud" fills in among the fibrous roots better

2. Ensures proper watering (obviously)

3. Elminates, or at least reduces, soil interface issues (where the soil type in your yard is different than the rootball it was grown in)

I worry that the mud would compact too much, but I guess it's no different than what happens after a hard rain, and as long as it's allowed to settle/soak in naturally (and not stomped on while muddy) it works out fine, from what I've read.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 4:18PM
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Awesome. Well, thanks everyone. That's a relief to hear. I've never heard of/seen that type of installation and with it being so easy to move back and forth, I had to check. Even with the stakes, I'm a little nervous of a wind storm (which we get plenty of), but at least now I know it was quality work.

Thanks again.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 7:02PM
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