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Root defects from planting too deeply

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This oak was planted with the top-most root 4.5 inches beneath the surface of a container 3 years ago. As a result, many roots were deflected by the container wall and grew over the main roots. Four roots combined to circle the entire circumference of the trunk (look closely and you can see them all). The next slide shows a root system from the same study planted 1.5 inches deep 3 years ago.