Q: This summer I’m planning to update my landscape by planting a few trees. What are the pros and cons of buying a young potted tree versus one of the larger trees with the wrapped root balls?
A: For the impatient landscaper with plenty of money, the more mature trees offer instant gratification, providing an immediate visual impact to the yard. They also cost more and are difficult to plant. These larger trees usually come with big burlap-wrapped roots and require more digging. They can also be very heavy, requiring several people or even heavy equipment to get them in the ground. The smaller container-grown trees are less expensive and easier to carry and plant. According to some landscape professionals, since the younger trees have spent less time in the containers, they often start growing faster once they’re in the ground. In just a few years, the smaller trees sometimes reach the same size as larger trees that were planted at the same time.