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Home Publications Tree Planters' Notes Tree Planters' Notes Volume 22, Number 3 (1971) Root Pruning Conifers in Nursery Beds: Does it Increase Survival Potential?

Root Pruning Conifers in Nursery Beds: Does it Increase Survival Potential?

Forest nurserymen commonly root-prune seedlings of most tree species in the beds in hope that a bushier root system will develop before lifting. However, no one has convincingly shown that a bushy root form intrinsically promotes seedling survival. Scattering a seedling's energy to multitudes of rootlet tips might actually be detrimental, if initial survival after outplanting hinges on rapid, far-reaching, and deep extension of a relatively few, major roots, as is common with undisturbed conifer seedlings. In this context, the meaningfulness of top/root ratio to seedling survival needs study. The literature relating T/R ratio to seedling survival and growth is conflicting. Very possibly, pattern of root growth means more in terms of seedling survival than root volume or T/R ratio. A root system best suited to rapid extension might conceivable have a relatively high, "unfavorable," T/R ratio.

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Author(s): James M. Trappe

Publication: Tree Planters' Notes - Volumes 22, Number 3 (1971)

Volume: 22

Number: 3

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