Dying trees? Please help a newbie

Ok...a few weeks ago I posted about recently having a landscaper plant some Leyland Cypress trees in our backyard. Now about 3 weeks later...I think they're dying but am not sure. I live in NJ in case that matters...the 12' Leylands were planted in our backyard...5 of them about 10' apart in a half sun/half shaded area. Since then, 4 of the trees are turning light green/almost yellow from the bottom of the tree working it's way up. Some spots have turned brown and have fallen off the tree. Is this over watering? Under watering? Shock? Other explanation?
Now one other thing to note...when the trees were planted, I was told that the burlap around the root ball was to stay tied and I was to cut them open in about a year. Is this normal?? Everything I've read says to loosen the burlap upon planting. But even if it's not normal, could this cause the tree to start dying so soon after only 3 weeks in the ground?
Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated...really don't want to lose these trees if it's not too late. Thanks in advance.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Tue, 11 May 2004 15:56:01 -0400, Mike <> wrote:

The burlap will decompose and not harm the tree. Leaving it in place reduces the chance of root damage. Where the trees planted at the proper ground height? The trees could be shock. New transplants often suffer from not enough water. Give them a slow soaking treatment once or twice a week. There's a vitamin product called "UpStart" that is formulated for transplanted trees. Don't expect results too quickly.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Um, what? Are the trolls just trying to get my goat these days?
_Maybe_ the burlap would decompose if it's natural burlap, but these days it's likely to be some kind of man-made fiber that will never decompose.
I do not know much specifically about Leyland Cypress, so maybe I'm missing something, but every reputable authority on tree planting I've encountered says to remove the burlap at planting. To leave it means inhibiting the roots' ability to spread from the original root ball into the native soil. To leave it tied means also leaving a noose around the main root crown. And if the root ball is all tied up in burlap, it's likely that any water in the area is going into the native soil and missing the tree's root ball entirely. If the burlap is tied with man-made string, it's likely that any roots that make it out of the burlap will eventually be girdled by the cord later.
Whether these issues are causing the current problems is debatable. It is likely that transplant shock is at work, and also that the trees are not getting watered effectively because of the burlap. Or it may be something else entirely--again, I don't know much about this species.
I say start by digging out the soil from around the root ball. If you see roots coming out of the burlap and into the surrounding soil, mea culpa (I'd still slash open the burlap at several points around the root ball). If not, excavate as much soil as possible and remove all twine and burlap that you can (if some stays underneath the root ball, that's ok). backfill with native soil and water regularly until the trees can become established. Don't hire the same guy for future plantings.
For a full description of correct tree transplantation, visit www.treesaregood.com
Good luck, Keith Babberney ISA Certified Arborist
For more info about the International Society of Arboriculture, please visit http://www.isa-arbor.com/home.asp . For consumer info about tree care, visit http://www.treesaregood.com /
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.