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Expose the top most root to check for defects

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soil removed from top of root ballQuality nurseries remove substrate from the surface of each root ball as they pot to the next container size or when planting into the field. This allows defects to be seen and removed easily. Following planting, the top most root should be close to the surface as shown in the photo. Some substrate or soil needs to cover the root to prevent drying. Roots growing from the trunk should be straight, not bent or diving or circling.