Transplanting Success of Balled-and-Burlapped Versus Bare-root Trees in the Urban Landscape

By Michelle J. Buckstrup and Nina L. Bassuk
Ithaca, NY (November 1, 2000)- Bare-root transplanting historically has been considered by many in the landscape industry, including arborists, to be higher risk that B&B transplanting. Post-planting stress caused by desiccation of roots during post-harvest handling is thought to be the major cause of poor establishment for bare-root trees. Few studies have been done to compare the impact of B&B and bare-root production methods on transplanting success in the urban environment.


This study of B&B and hydrogel-dipped bare-root trees harvested at 40-mm-caliper and planted in the urban environment of Ithaca, New York, makes recommendations on three common street tree species.
* Hackberry can be successfully transplanted in fall or spring, B&B or bare-root. Bare-root hackberry grows better in fall than spring, and in spring, B&B trees may grow better than bare-root trees, but all combinations are viable.
* Hophombeam can be successfully transplanted in the fall or spring, B&B or bare-root, although spring bare-root planting may be risky, especially if trees are not fully dormant when harvested.
* Swamp white oak can be transplanted with success fall or spring, B&B or bare-root. For all three species, differences in growth observed in the first year can be expected to even out in subsequent years.
Related Resources:
Transplanting Success of Balled-and-Burlapped Versus Bare-root Trees in the Urban Landscape