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How To Determine Basket Size and Rootball Size

10" of rootball per inch of trunk is recommended, for example 3" should have at least 30" rootball. The ideal size of the basket is 2” less then the diameter of the root ball your spade makes. The root ball size a spade makes can vary with digging conditions and techniques.

Most leading spade models will be either 25° or 22°. In most cases using the same degree basket as the spade will be the most satisfactory. However, when you are downsizing with a 25° spade (using larger spades to make smaller root balls ) then in some cases a 22° basket might fit better. For worn spades where the bottom of the blades spread apart then a 22° basket is recommended. A 22° basket will work with a 25° spade but will require more crimping at the bottom.

A 25° basket for a 22° spade is not recommended. For semi-truncated or non-truncated spades then retracting the blades a little and removing the tip of the root ball will be needed for a satisfactory basket fit.

How To Determine Spade Angle

Not sure what degree your spade is? Most conventional spades will be either 22° or 25°. Refer to these diagrams for an easy way to determine spade angle.

22 degree tree spade measurements
25 degree tree spade measurements

4 Easy Steps To Tree Basketing

Settlers Wire Tree Baskets & Burlap Liners

step 1

Prepare Rootball

Note: This step is not needed for truncated blades.
Flatten root ball. Retract the spades a little at a time in a circular motion, until approx 6" of the root ball is exposed below spades. Use a shovel to remove the excess and flatten the root ball.

step 2

Get Basket Ready

Place your burlap liner in the wire basket and place the basket on level ground.

step 3

Place in Basket

Line up the root ball with basket and lower into place. Retract the spades fully, until root ball is resting in basket. Remove tree spade leaving tree in basket.

step 4

Tie Tree

Fold in burlap and basket and tie tree into place.