Netting inside root ball, is it OK?

We bought a 6 foot ginkgo tree from a nearby nursery in a 15 inch wide by12 inch high pot. We used our fingers to work our way through the top of the root ball to find a area of root flare. Instead, just below the surface and a couple of inches out from the main trunk, we came across a elasticized netting (not sure of the material.) We dug around all sides of the root ball and it seems that this netting is completely imbedded and surrounds (sides and bottom) the inner area of the root ball. The root ball now extending out a couple of inches from the netted area. The netting does not look like it is disintegrating over time. We can not remove this netting as it is firmly and deeply imbedded inside the current root ball. There are no large roots visible in the areas we have so far exposed (exterior to the netting), only thin roots like what is shown in the photo.

Is anyone familiar with this netting material and do you think that it is going to be a problem for the health of the tree which will be planted in the ground?

Also, there is a V shaped section on the trunk near the soil line. Is this a graft or an injury? There are no large roots coming out directly below this area, only many thin roots and some suckers which have been cut off…

The photo below shows the V section I am referring to as well as the netting. Thanks for any help.

I don’t think the netting will hurt the tree roots or the long term health of the tree. The netting will either expand or the roots will over grow the netting. Roots grow in cracks in bedrock. I think they’ll survive the netting even if it ends up imbedded into the roots as they grow.

Likewise I won’t worry about that V. It may be nothing at all. And even if it is there’s nothing you can do in the way of care that will help.

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Most likely it decomposes in time and causes but little issue.

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@fruitnut @BlueBerry. Thank you both very much for the helpful observations. It is especially reassuring to know that even if the netting doesn’t decompose, the roots can probably get through it and can even handle having strands becoming embedded in them as they pass through.


At the nursery I work at we now get some small tree liners in from west coast growers with that netting on them. They are supposed to decompose eventually. We found that trees we grew in our fields for 3-4 years after planting in the netted rootball did fine. Upon harvest at a larger size (2" BB) we shipped them out. Some of our clients called and wondered what the white strips were that almost looked like rubber bands were in the root ball when they planted them. A few clients had concern but no problems after transplanting have occurred. I am not sure what the netting is made of but it does fall apart after 2 years in ground but does not entirely decompose even after 4 years.

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That is really good to hear. I sent the photo to the nursery from which I bought the tree and they had never seen it before,so it is wonderful that you have actual experience with it to share. Thank you.

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