Container-grown trees and shrubs are planted the same way as B&B stock, with a few added precautions. First, water the plant generously just before planting. This will make it easier to slide the root ball out of the container. To help extract the plant, hit the sides of the container with the palm of your hand, rotating the container as you go. Holding the container in place with your feet, grip the base of the plant and gently pull until the root ball comes free. For larger containers, enlist someone's help, or use a heavy-duty knife or razor to cut the sides.
Once the plant and container are separated, inspect the root ball. If you see a mass of swirling roots, cut through the mass to allow the roots to spread out rather than continuing to encircle the base of the plant. Use sharp clippers to cut four shallow gullies about 1/2 inch deep down the length of the root ball; space them evenly around the root ball (Photo G). Then take a dandelion weeder, screwdriver, or similar device and scrape the sides of the root mass to free up the roots (Photo H).
Continued on page 4: Bareroot Plants