Q: I had some trees planted in October. As the soil around the root ball settled, I see that the burlap was left on it. Should it have been removed?
A: You bet it should have! The synthetic burlap that is being used more and more to wrap Aballed & burlapped@ tree roots does not rot quickly like the old-fashioned kind of burlap. The roots of your trees will have a difficult time penetrating the synthetic stuff. It should definitely be removed. While you=re at it, I suspect that the root ball may have been planted too high in the first place. Since the root ball will likely still be intact, heave it out of the ground, deepen the hole and slide the ball back in place. The spot where roots begin to flare off of the tree trunk should be right at ground level. Use a razor knife to slash off all of the burlap you can reach before filling soil around the ball. Remember to direct water to the base of the tree as you irrigate your prize for the next six months.