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Container production practices: roots

Roots in containers grow quickly to the container wall, sometimes in a matter of days or weeks. These sometimes branch, but often deflect without branching to circle around the container wall and/or descend down the container wall. Occasionally roots grow up the container sides. These root defects are the biggest challenge to growing trees in containers because these can lead to tree health and stability problems. There are many methods of producing trees in containers, and there are many container types designed to reduce defects. Combined with root pruning each time the plant is potted into a larger container, quality trees can be produced in many container types (upper right photo). The following will allow you to learn more about each of these topics.
Container types
Root growth in standard containers
Root manipulation: results on various species
Develop quality roots on liners
New: BMP for producing quality trees in container nursery (pdf)



good root system
Great root system in a 15 gallon container

terrible root system
Terrible root system in a 15 gallon container