In the related presentation, Riley Rouse discusses modification methods for addressing root defects of container-grown trees. Growing trees in standard smooth-sided containers can lead to malformed root systems, especially circling roots. A great number of techniques are often suggested by industry professionals to remediate root defects prior to planting. In the discussed trial, three shade tree species commonly listed as “difficult to transplant” when lifted as bare-root stock (Carpinus caroliniana, Ostrya virginiana, and Liriodendron tulipifera) and one species that is “easy to transplant” bare root (Platanus × acerifolia) were subjected to four root modification treatments: deep slicing, shaving, bare-rooting, and control. A subset of bare-root and control trees were subjected to compensatory pruning to investigate the potential to mitigate negative crown impacts following root treatments at planting. Bare-rooting reduced survival of the species that are commonly regarded as difficult to transplant as bareroot stock. Measurements of plant water relations suggest that mortality was related to increased moisture stress associated with root and substrate removal.
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