Burlap and wire cages help protect delicate tree roots as they get moved from the nursery to your home.

But then, what do you do with them?

Gary, a Davey blog reader from Texas, asked, “When planting an oak tree with a 4-to-6-inch trunk, do you remove wire gauge from the root ball when planting?"

Read on to learn more about the right way to plant burlap-wrapped trees that also have a wire basket.

What You Need to Know About Planting Trees with Wire Cages and Burlap

Burlap and wire cages keep trees intact until they’re safely set in the planting hole. At that point, you should remove most of the burlap and some of the wire.

Do you take the burlap off when planting a tree?

Yep! Remove as much as possible. Once the tree is standing safely in the hole, cut and remove the burlap from around the base of the trunk. Then, work your way down the root ball and remove as much burlap as you can.  

Doing this can help reduce the chances of dehydration and girdling roots. That’s when the roots grow around the trunk or each other and limit the tree’s ability to transport water and nutrients.

Should wire baskets be removed when planting trees?

Yup! Remove at least the top third of the basket from the root ball. That’s really all you need to do!

If you try to remove more than that, you increase the likelihood that the root ball will begin to crumble and break apart. That’s no good. Avoid that by only doing the above.  

Did you know that planting a tree too deep is the biggest mistake we see? Avoid that with these tips.

Related Blog Posts

Tree Transplanting
Tree Planting & Transplanting

Can You Plant A Tree Where Another Died?

Planting a tree where your old tree died can be tricky. To avoid replant disease and ensure tree planting success, follow these tips on how to plant a tree properly.
Read More
4 23 19 Planting Near Utility Lines
Tree Planting & Transplanting

Planting Trees and Shrubs Near Underground Utility Lines

Before planting it’s crucial to make sure you’re planting the right tree in the right place. Part of that is making sure your plant doesn’t disrupt any underground utility lines. Learn more here
Read More

Sign Up For Free Tree & Landscaping Tips! 

Subscribe to the "The Sapling," the Davey Blog's email newsletter, for the latest tips to keep your outdoor space in tip-top shape throughout the year.

Plus, receive a free instant download of our landscape seasonal checklists when you sign up!

Get In Touch With Us!

We pride ourselves at Davey Tree on providing prompt, professional and personalized service from certified arborists that live, work and engage in your community. Contact one of our Davey Tree specialists for your residential, commercial, utility, or environmental needs.

Let's Find What
You're Looking For!

Davey uses cookies to make your experience a great one by providing us analytics so we can offer you the most relevant content. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies. View our Privacy Policy for more information.