Planting Depth Affects Survival, Root Growth, and Nutrient Content of Transplanted Pygmy Date Palms

in HortScience
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  • 1 University of Florida, Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center, 3205 College Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33314

Mature pygmy date palms (Phoenix roebelenii O'Brien) having a minimum of 90 cm of clear trunk were transplanted into a field nursery at their original depth or with 15, 30, 60, or 90 cm of soil above the original rootball. Palms planted at the original level or with the visible portion of the root initiation zone buried had the largest canopies, highest survival rates, and lowest incidence of Mn deficiency 15 months after transplanting. Palms planted 90 cm deep had only a 40% survival rate, with small, Mn-deficient canopies on surviving palms. Palms whose original rootballs were planted 90 cm deep had very poor or no root growth at any level, but had elevated Fe levels in the foliage. None of the deeply planted palms produced any new adventitious roots higher than 15 cm above the visible portion of the root initiation zone.

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