Truth: Burlap Can Kill the Tree

A lot of burlap is treated to resist rot, which means it doesn't decompose in the ground—at least not as quickly as tree roots grow. Leaving the burlap on the root ball can kill the tree, as new roots won't be able to break through. Roger recommends leaving the burlap intact as you position the tree to protect the roots, then removing it and loosening the soil on the ball with a cultivator to free up the roots.
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