Improved Growth of Pecan and Ornamental Pear Trees in Containers with Water-holding Reservoirs

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  • 1 Department of Horticulture and Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station, Auburn University, AL 36849
  • 2 Ornamental Horticulture Substation of Auburn University, P.O. Box 8276, Mobile, AL 36689-0276

Pecan [Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) C. Koch `Melrose'] and pear (Pyrus calleryana Decne. `Bradford') trees in the nursery grew more in containers designed to hold water in the lower portion. The water-holding reservoir was obtained either by placing 76-liter containers in a frame holding water to a depth of 6 cm or by using containers with drainage holes 6 cm from the bottom. Continuous waterlogging at the bottom of containers resulted in root pruning and root death in the lower portion of the containers, but roots grew well above the constantly wet zone. Fresh weight of plant tops and trunk diameters were greater after two growing seasons in the containers with water reservoirs compared to those grown in similar containers with no water reservoirs. Total root dry weight was unaffected.

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