Treeland Nursery
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Treeland Nursery is a 40 acre tree farm with over 4000 trees in stock
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Container Trees vs Dug Trees

Container Trees Grow Faster

Red Oak Roots
Red Oak Tree Root Ball
If a 3" (trunk width) container red oak tree and a 3" (trunk width) dug red oak tree (also called harvested and B&B trees) are planted on the same day, the container tree will outgrow the dug tree for each of the following three years. The reason for this growth rate difference is because the container tree is planted with all of its roots; however, the dug tree is planted with 40% of its roots. The other 60% of the roots were cut and left behind in the ground where the tree was dug. The top picture is an example of the large number of roots that are cut on a newly dug red oak. The bottom picture is of a red oak root ball that has been wrapped with burlap and wire after being dug. The container tree will grow 2' (length of new branch growth) the first year and the dug tree will grow 1/2'. In year two, the container tree will grow 3' and the dug tree 15". In year three, the container tree will grow 3' and the dug tree 2'. By the end of this three year period the total branch growth on a container tree is 8' and the total branch growth on the dug tree is 4'. The container red oak will also have a trunk width of 6" and the dug red oak will have a trunk width of 5" after that three year period. With a container tree you are buying an extra inch of trunk growth over the next three years. The container tree is our best value because it is the faster growing tree.


Comparing Container Trees vs Dug Trees

 
Container Tree
Dug Tree
% of Roots which come with tree
100%
40%
Replacing the 60% of the roots lost can take up to 3 years for slow growing Oaks. Compare the growth differential over this three year period.
Red Oak Year I 
2' Branch
6" Branch
Red Oak Year II 
3' Branch
15" Branch
Red Oak Year III 
3' Branch
24" Branch
Total Growth
8'
4'

Container Trees Have Higher Survival Rate and No Shock in Warm Weather
If a container red oak & dug red oak are planted on the same day during July, which has an average temperature of 95.4°, the dug tree will be subject to the extreme summer heat and experience shock. Shock is when a tree cannot take up enough water through the roots to replace the water evaporating from the leaves. A dug tree is transplanted with only 40% of its roots and is incapable of absorbing the adequate amount of water, resulting in the leaves turning brown. However, the heat will not affect the container red oak because it is planted with 100% of its roots. It is my professional opinion that the survival rate for container trees is significantly higher than dug trees because the container tree experiences no shock.