University of Florida

Home > Planting trees > Nursery stock selection > Locate the top-most root > Too deep in root ball

Too deep in root ball

root ball planted too deep

This tree was planted about 12 inches too deep in the root ball at the nursery. When the tree was installed into the landscape, the top of the root ball (see arrow) was positioned about even with the surrounding landscape soil. The result was the root system was planted into the landscape 12 inches too deep! During the two or three years the tree was in the landscape, the tree made an attempt to survive by sending several roots up toward the soil surface. These can be seen here as upward growing roots (3 or 4 on the left and 2 on the right). All the soil above the top-most root in the root ball should have been removed prior to installation.