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Bagging Profits with Fabric Containers: Your Guide to Transplanting Fabric Container Grown Trees

When it comes to container grown trees, fabric containers provide optimal root structures, leaving you with much healthier trees that last for years. When considering new trees to plant in your area, consider the advantages of fabric container grown trees. Fabric containers provide notable advantages, including:

  • 80% or more of the roots are in the fabric container at planting
  • No circling roots
  • Vastly superior survivability
  • Able to transport more trees per load

With scientifically proven advantages, fabric container grown trees can enhance your existing tree farm for year-round sales. They’re also ideal for new growers starting out.

Ready to transplant container grown trees from fabric pots? Follow these simple steps:

Step 1. Soils come in many forms, so it’s important to know the kind of soil you’re planting in. The harder the soil, the bigger hole needs to be when transplanting container grown trees from fabric pots. A bigger hole helps to help loosen the surrounding soil so the roots will have an easier time getting established.

Step 2. Dig a hole that is at least 4” to 6” bigger than the diameter of the container grown tree and deep enough to position the tree even with soil level. Planting too deep is a common problem. So after you dig the hole, be sure to tamp the soil down to keep the tree from sinking as it grows.

Step 3.  Lay the tree down and cut slits down the sides of the fabric container, then cut an X at the bottom.

Step 4. Place the tree in the hole and remove the fabric using a razor knife and snips.

Step 5. You may need to add or remove some soil to the achieve the proper depth. Fill in around the root ball and tamp it down firmly.

Step 6. Build a moat around the newly planted tree with the remaining dirt and add mulch on top.

Step 7.  Staking will be required for some trees. For example, if you’re transplanting in late spring with a 2.5-inch-caliper tree, you will likely need to stake the tree. With trees dig in summer, the caliper will be smaller, and it might not need stakes.

Step 8. Water thoroughly by using a slow tickle for a few hours. Make sure the tree gets a good drink right after planting. For the first 3 months, periodically dig down a couple of inches into the soil to monitor and optimize moisture levels.

Step 9. Providing proper nutrients for your fabric container grown trees is essential for their health. See your local garden center if your tree seems to be in stress.

When in Doubt, Call the Experts

Fabric containers were invented by High Caliper Growing in 1980. With years of research and hands-on experience, we understand the science of fabric container growing. If you have questions or need advice, give our experts a call at 1-800-521-8089.

Posted in Root Control Bags

Why Fabric Grow Bags Promote Healthy Tree Roots

If you’re a tree farmer, it’s not exactly news — healthy tree roots mean healthy trees. More than any other factor, root health determines speed of growth, time to market and mortality rates after the sale. So it’s only logical that tree farmers across the world are searching for methods to optimize root growth.


Using the ball and burlap method, 50-80% of the root tips are cut off at harvest. The severity of root destruction depends on the species of the tree and the operator of the tree spade. Studies show there is approximately 25% mortality after ball and burlap transplanting. Trees grown using in-ground fabric grow bags retain 80% or more of the root ball at harvest – with no root circling.

Bag-grown trees produce abundant, fibrous roots throughout entire root ball. When transplanted, these fibrous provide more energy in the form of carbohydrates and nutrients. This leads to faster lateral root development and top growth, leaving you with healthy tree roots. Thanks to compact root balls containing little soil, trees grown in fabric bags weigh two thirds less than ball and burlap specimens. Soil loss per tree is considerably less as well.


When roots approach the edge of a fabric bag, the air dries out the root tip causing it to desiccate. This, in turn, causes the roots to branch and become fibrous. The process, known as “air pruning,” promotes fibrous roots throughout the entire root ball. It also prevents undesirable root circling.

Thanks to numerous fibrous roots created during transplant or stepping up, bag-grown trees experience a grow spurt over their first year. After that, the plant grows normally while exhibiting the best survivability compared to other growing practices. With proper care and the right amount of water and nutrients, bag-grown trees have a much better survival rate. This is due to their healthy root systems that have no root circling — the number one problem for plants grown in plastic containers.

Healthy tree roots allow trees to rejuvenate much faster upon transplant. With anchoring roots and top growth quickly established, your customers will see for themselves how healthy and quickly the tree grows.


Fostering healthy trees, in ground or above, also provides extraordinary benefits to nurseries and tree farmers, including:

  • Reduced labor cost: A small, efficient crew can harvest more trees per day than B & B.
  • Lower equipment cost: For some growers, a shovel is all you need. Some also use fork blades or other attachments on skid loaders.
  • Lower shipping cost: Due to smaller root balls, more trees can be stacked on a truck.

Whether you’re just getting started or running an established tree farm, fabric grow bags can give you twice as many trees per acre. They deliver more than just healthy tree roots and a fibrous root system. They cut labor costs and greatly reducing tree mortally. By eliminating costly tree spades, fabric bags are poised to revolutionize the industry. It is no surprise that more tree farmers are choosing fabric grow bags every day.

Posted in Root Control Bags
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