We're called to sites more often than we'd like to asses the condition of trees that were recently planted and may not be in the best of condition. The cause may not be readily apparent from the ground up, but once you explore a bit below the surface, things usually begin to make sense. These pictures demonstrate the ill effect nylon ropes and fabric left on the root ball of a newly planted tree can have.
Landscape trees are expensive -- justifiably so if we can watch them develop into mature trees, but hardly worth the cost if they fail during the first years. Whether you're planting trees on your own or hiring the job out to a contractor, insist that the packing materials around the base of the tree be removed and the tree is installed at a proper depth. Don't settle for, "Don't worry, it will rot off in a year."
- Bob Bociek