How we grow our trees

A growing tradition

ETT has an extensive range of Ex-Ground and Containerised trees, which means we can supply advanced trees all year round.

Balled and Burlapped (Ex-Ground)

ETT has a longstanding tradition of growing trees in the ground, with 70% of our trees grown and sold as Balled & Burlapped (Ex-Ground).

Our Ex-Ground Trees are mostly available between April and September and include most deciduous trees, some exotic evergreens, and some natives such as Corymbia maculata. Some Ex-Ground trees can be supplied all year around, with the appropriate planning.

Ex-Ground trees are recognised for producing stronger, more robust trees with a larger caliper, as it allows the trees to form an unconstrained root system. Our trees are grown in open clay soils in generously spaced rows to ensure broader canopies, real-life height-to-trunk ratios and are a true depiction of how the trees grow in the natural landscape. Trees are regularly shaped and pruned, and are transplanted several times during development to encourage the fibrous root system necessary for their re-establishment at their new location.

All our Ex-Ground trees are described using a height and caliper measurements. An approximate container size equivalent (volume in litres) is then also used to describe the root ball size to assist with product comparison in the market. All our Ex-Ground trees meet the minimum root ball diameter size suggested in the Australian Tree Standard AS2303:2015 when compared to a trees size index (Height x Caliper).

We regularly trial new technologies to improve our production methods. This is to produce trees of the highest quality in relation to tree shape, height to caliper ratio, and improved root systems for greater transplanting success when planted in the landscape.

Tree Planting Guide
ETT has developed an easy-to-follow tree planting guide to assist landscaping professionals to get the best results with Balled & Burlapped Trees.

Download your free copy of the guide.

Containerised Trees

ETT has a constantly expanding range of containerised trees in 45 litre to 1000 litre sizes. Containerised trees are available all year around and include deciduous, exotic evergreens, and a range of Australian Native trees.

Our growing methods are the result of extensive research into the ideal growing conditions for containerised trees. Trees are grown in genus-specific soil free potting medium, and are formatively pruned and shaped. Our containerised trees are grown to be self-supporting, and are not grown on a trellis system. We ensure that trees are never left too long in a container and are vigorously root pruned at every potting phase to meet the requirements of the Australian Tree Standard AS2303:2015 with particular attention to the criteria for Below Ground Assessment of Tree Stock.

ETT has conducted research into the benefits of different growing containers, and chooses to use poly woven bags with handles. This allows for greater ease of handling – both manually and by machine. We have also converted to a squatter design, which makes the trees more stable, but more importantly it is shaping roots to grow down and out as opposed to root systems in traditional pots, which are tapered and narrow at the bottom.

ETT describes its containerised trees by the height and caliper with reference to the size of the root ball volume in litres. It is important that the ratio between the above ground parts of the tree (height and caliper) and the root ball volume are in proportion. Australian Tree Standard AS2303:2015 provides a comprehensive ‘informative’ guide in regard to this relationship.

Smaller pots are often described by diameter size (cm, mm and inches). The table below helps approximate the volume for the many different pot size descriptions, making it easier to understand the relationship between the above ground parts of the tree and the root ball volume in accordance with the Standard.

Approximate Volumes of Pot Sizes

Pot Size Description Approximate Volume (L)
30cm (300mm or 12inch) POT 14L
33cm (330mm or 13inch) POT 18L
40cm (400mm or 16inch) POT 27L
45L POT* 45L
50cm (500mm or 20inch) POT 50L
75l POT* 75L
60cm (600mm) POT 90L
100L POT* 100L

Pots greater than 100L, are almost always descried by volume as opposed to pot diameter.

*Pots sizes sold by ETT .

Advantages of Ex-ground and Containers

Ex-Ground Containers
Self-supporting tree due to enhanced caliper and structure Available all year round
Greater soil compatibility, allowing tree to adapt to new site more quickly following transplantation Overcomes challenges associated with varieties that are difficult to transplant
eg. Australian natives
Cost effective, value for money Ease of handling and storage