Gilman, E.F. and C. Wiese

Root pruning at planting and planting depth in the nursery impact root system morphology and anchorage

Arboriculture & Urban Forestry 38 (5): 229-236


Quercus virginiana Mill. Highrise® were planted into 10 L and then 57 L plastic nursery containers at two depths for a total of four depth com - binations, and then root pruned in one of three different manners when planted into the landscape. Nursery planting depth had no impact on growth in the nursery or bending moment required to tilt trunks in the first two years following landscape planting. Root pruning when planting into landscape by either method tested had no effect on growth the first two years. Number of roots circling inside the root ball was reduced by shaving or deep root ball slicing two growing seasons after planting. Root balls that were either sliced or shaved generated more roots in landscape soil one growing season after landscape planting than those that were not root pruned, which probably explained the greater bending moment required to pull trees out of the ground. Total cross - sectional root area one growing season after landscape planting was greater on shaved trees than those not root pruned at planting. Bending moment at 20 degrees trunk tilt was best correlated with cross sectional area of roots growing straight across the periphery of the root ball and into landscape soil.

Click here for full article (PDF file)