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Author Topic: Really Stupid Question....  (Read 311 times)

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Really Stupid Question....
« on: September 22, 2017, 03:33:00 PM »
Ok, though I have been on this forum for a while and have some knowledge about plants and such, there are some glaring holes in my experience/wisdom because I have only been growing things for 3 years.

So here is my super-dumb beginner's question:

Say you have some potted trees in a soil-less potting mix (bark/peat mix). When you go to plant those trees in the ground, do you:
  • gently remove the mix from around the roots so the plant is immersed in the native soil; or
  • leave the potting mix intact and just fill around it with native soil

Basically option 1 is bare-rooting the plant. Based on things I've read, i can see benefits to both options. Option 1 would presumably eliminate issues of soil differential in the root zone, water retention/drainage differential with native soil, etc. However, it could possibly damage the root system (though a soil-less mix basically would fall off the roots on its own).

Looking for advice from folks who've done this - as you can see, I have never done it!
Jus crazy bout dem pawpaws!


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Re: Really Stupid Question....
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2017, 09:21:08 PM »

Personally, I would not remove all the soil. I think it is more risky for the plant. Especially if the weather is hot and sunny, I think the plant is more likely to survive happily this stress if the roots aren't too much disturbed.

That said, I would kind of remove a little of the soil on the sides, and put it at the bottom of the planting hole.

That would be my strategy.


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Re: Really Stupid Question....
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2017, 10:09:16 PM »
If planting paw paw, remember they don't like trauma to roots when planting. I'd leave rootball intact as much as possible. Usually not planting a huge tree anyway. Paw paw likes water so wouldn't worry about planting hole turning into too much of a sink if planting in well drained soil versus thick clay. Most trees we buy from nurseries are in a bark mixture potting soil, we plant tree in ground, and it grows. If all soil falls off roots, we stick them roots in hole and fill it in with dirt/soil, and plant usually does just fine. No worries, man!

Mark in Texas

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Re: Really Stupid Question....
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2017, 05:13:27 PM »
Avocados hate their rootball disturbed so I leave the rootball intact.  The only benefit in removing the soil is to inspect the roots for girdling or J rooting, which will stunt or kill a tree.  For example, I had this Pickering in a large Rootbuilder pot for a year or so before the girdling took its toll.  Came out of 1 gal. pot from PIN and I missed it.

If the rootball has a severe case of spinout then I take a sharp knife and slice about 1/2" into the rootball, top to bottom, 4 times around.  This will terminate that spin out and induce new roots.  I do this to most nursery bought trees as a typical practice.

Advice - NEVER amend clay soils with sand or compost, 2. plant deciduous trees in the fall if you can get them then.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2017, 05:15:07 PM by Mark in Texas »


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Re: Really Stupid Question....
« Reply #4 on: September 26, 2017, 04:26:59 PM »
I would second the not disturbing the roots if it's a pawpaw.  The one pawpaw I bare rooted and put into the ground had the roots and stem turn black and very shortly died.


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