Magnolia Prep - Knowledgebase Question

Granbury, TX (Zone 7B)
Question by beasel
August 2, 2005
I am planting a Southern Magnolia. A local radio garden host 'demands' that one remove the top four inches of soil before planting a bucket, or non-balled, tree. This tree's top four inches is filled with small roots. Wont I do more damage, removing that root structure, than good when I romove the four inches of soil? Should I just plant it as it is? I read the other information on S. Magnolias and it was helpful. jb

Answer from NGA
August 2, 2005



I'm not sure what the radio host is thinking about and can't help but think something is getting lost in translation. I would plant the tree as is but would definitely look closely for any roots encircling the container and either unwind or cut them. You can take a utility knife and make 4 vertical slices down through the outside of the root ball. The roots will then branch and grow from the cut points and thus reduce girdling problems down the line.

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