Effect of Tree Size, Root Pruning, and Production Method
on Establishment of Quercus virginiana
Edward F. Gilman, Chris Harchick, and Maria Paz
Abstract: Significant differences may exist in establishment rate between trees planted from containers and those from field nursery. Containergrown plants have root balls with deflected roots which could impact establishment. Slicing root balls at planting could improve postplanting performance of container-grown trees. Sixty live oak 170 L containers were planted into landscape field soil. Root balls from 30 of these containers were sliced prior to planting. Thirty field-grown trees of slightly larger size, and 30 smaller trees from 57 L containers, were also planted. During dry periods in the first 432 days after planting (DAP), 57 L container trees had the least negative xylem potential. Field-grown trees had the most negative xylem potential when irrigation was withheld 12 DAP. Slicing root balls had little impact on xylem water potential in drought. Defoliation was greater for 170 L container trees than for 57 L containers. Trunk diameter increase of 57 L containers and field-grown trees was greater than for 170 L containers. Field-grown trees grew less in height. Root system radius was similar for 170 L containers and field-grown trees, and greater than 57 L containers. Small trees appear to establish quicker than larger trees.
Keywords: B&B; Containers; Drought; Field-Grown; Irrigation; Planting; Root Ball; root:shoot Ratio; Transplanting; Tree Survival; Xylem