How to Plant Ball & Burlap Pine Trees


Pine trees can provide shade and a home for nesting birds. The fallen needles of pine trees can be used for mulch. A ball and burlap tree, or B&B, has been dug from the ground, capturing as much of the root ball as possible. Burlap, chosen for its biodegradable nature, is wrapped around the root ball and may be secured with twine or wire. Ball and burlap pine trees are best planted in the fall but can be planted any time the ground is workable from fall to early spring.

Step 1

Select a planting location that is well-drained and matches the sunlight requirements of the pine, which may be a sunny location. The nursery label that came with the pine should identify the sunlight requirements.

Step 2

Dig the hole 1 to 2 inches shallower than the height of the root ball. The top of the root ball should be just above ground level to account for settling of the tree after planting. The width of the hole should be at least twice as wide as the root ball.

Step 3

Place the root ball in the center of the hole and then remove the wire or twine around the trunk. If the root ball is covered with synthetic, waterproof material, completely remove the wrapping.

Step 4

Backfill the hole half way with the soil removed from the hole. For burlap-wrapped balls, fold the burlap down so the top half of the root ball is exposed. Water around the tree to settle the soil and then finish backfilling the hole.

Step 5

Water the pine tree again. Water the tree every seven to ten days if there is no rainfall and up to the first frost.

Step 6

Apply 2 to 4 inches of mulch, like bark chips, around the tree, covering the disturbed soil. Keep the mulch about 6 inches away from the trunk of the tree.

Tips and Warnings

  • Carry a ball and burlap tree by the root ball, not the trunk of the tree. Carrying the tree by the trunk can place pressure on the trunk from the weight of the root ball, which could result in damage to the tree.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Mulch


  • Washington State University Extension: Planting Landscape Plants
  • University of Wisconsin Extension: Evergreens Planting and Care
  • North Carolina State University Extension: Planting Techniques for Trees and Shrubs
Keywords: B&B tree, ball and burlap, plant pine trees

About this Author

Barbara Raskauskas is a certified e-learning specialist and certified Microsoft Office specialist. She has written web content, technical documents and course material for a decade. Raskauskas now writes how-to's, product reviews and general topics published on several websites, including Demand Studios.