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Skidsteer Tree Planting Using A Tree Bit VS. A Straight Auger Bit

heavy-duty-auger-4Planting a tree using a tree bit versus a straight auger bit

Recently a customer asked me for a little advice on the use of a tree bit vs. a regular straight bit for drilling holes. He had several acres of trees to plant, so he was in the right direction using his skid steer and auger system.  I know that this is not in 50 words or less but here is my advice, based on experience.

The tree bit will drill a hole that is narrower at the bottom. If you think about a half moon bottom, or a bowl, that way the root ball will sit in the bottom of the hole better / straighter.  This will allow the root system to spread out, and not girdle. (a girdling root will wrap around the bottom of the tree trunk and literally choke out your tree and it will stunt or die before it reaches maturity). If your tree has a root ball that is bound by burlap etc. make sure that any binding is also loosened around the trunk.  A standard bit will give you a nice hole straight down, if your tree is a bare root, then that could work for you. Keep in mind you will need to drill the hole twice the size of the root system and spread the roots out before back filling, making sure there are no air pockets. This too will help to prevent girdling, and give the sapling the best opportunity to grow. One other thing to consider also is the depth at which you plant. Planting too deeply will suffocate your tree, and you’ll find yourself replacing it by the 2nd year. Plant deep enough to just cover the top of the root, and not any part of the trunk, even leaving the top of the root ball or root partially exposed, even if mulching use caution around the bottom of the trunk. Mulching however is recommended; this helps to hold moisture and TREE-BITcontrols weeds. Also be sure to give your trees plenty of room to grow, like pets they’re cute when they are little but they’ll fill the house sooner than you think, and fight for sunlight, moisture and nutrients. This will also make future maintenance, or harvest easier.

We hope you find this information helpful but When in doubt seek the advice of your local professional nursery.

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