When the the Urban Forestry and Horticulture Institute had unexpected fatality in some of our stock, we purchased stock from a retail nursery to replace it. Despite copious amounts of research showing the ill-fated results of
improper planting techniques, most nurseries still sell pot-bound trees. We were not surprised to see that the trees we bought were, in fact, planted too deeply and had some unconventional and dysfunctional root systems! Whoa!
How did we find this out? We did what anybody does when he or she purchases a tree...root flare discovery! Digging soil off the top of the root ball, we discovered the trees' roots were not 1 inch from the surface, as they should have been. Rather, there was sometimes 6 inches of soil above the root system. This is a big problem.
The green ribbon shows the soil line when the tree was in the container in which it was purchased.