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Effect of container type on root form and growth of red maple

Gilman, E.F., C. Harchick, and M. Paz


Effect of container type on root form and growth of red maple

Journal Environmental Horticulture 28:1-7

The study was designed to evaluate impacts of #3 container wall attributes on root morphology. Trunk diameter of “Florida Flame’ red maples (Acer rubrum L.) growing in smooth-sided containers was no different than for any other container type. Trees in Smart Pot® grew more in height than trees in Florida Cool Ring™. Only trees in smooth-sided containers had roots 100% around the top of containers. As a result all 9 trees excavated from smooth-sided containers were graded a cull according to Florida Grades and Standards for Nursery Stock. Trees in smooth-side pots had lesser root ball quality rating than all other container types except RootMaker®, but trees in Jackpot™ had a higher quality rating than those in smooth-sided and RootMaker® pots. No container reduced length of descending, ascending, or kinked roots compared to smooth-sided containers. RootBuilder® had fewer descending roots than Jackpot™. RootMaker® developed more roots growing up the container wall than any other container except smooth-sided. Diameter of the 5 largest roots emerging from the trunk was smaller in Jackpot™ than smooth-sided, RootBuilder®, RootMaker®, and Smart Pot® containers. RootMaker® had larger diameter peripheral roots than Fanntun pot, Jackpot™ and Smart Pot®. Jackpot™ had smaller diameter peripheral roots than smooth-sided and Smart Pot®. A higher percentage of the largest 5 roots branched as they met the container wall in Smart Pot®, RootBuilder®, and Fanntum Pot compared to smooth-sided. A larger percentage of the 5 largest roots circled in the RootMaker® than in Air-Pot™, Florida Cool Ring™, and Jackpot™.