ROOT GROWTH OF CHINESE JUNIPER DURING THE FIRST THREE YEARS AFTER PLANTING

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  • 1 Environmental Horticulture Department, IFAS, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611

Shoot and root growth were measured on Chinese juniper (Juniperus chinensis L.) Var. `Torulosa', `Sylvestris', `Pfitzeriana' and `Hetzii' 1, 2 and 3 years after planting into a simulated landscape from 10-liter black plastic containers. Mean diameter of the root system increased quadratically averaging 1, 2 m/year; whereas, mean branch spread increased at 0, 33 m/year, Three years after planting, root spread was 2, 75 times branch spread and roots covered an area 5.5 times that covered by the branches. Percentage of total root length located within the dripline of the plants remained fairly constant (71-77%) during the first 3 years following planting. Root length density per unit area increased over time but decreased with distance from the trunk. In the first 2 years after planting shoot weight increased faster than root `weight. However, during the third year after planting, the root system increased in mass and size at a faster rate than the shoots. Root length was correlated with root weight within root-diameter classes, Root spread and root area were correlated with trunk area, branch spread and crown area.

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