Production Method and Irrigation Effects Postplanting Root Morphology of Quercus virginiana

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  • 1 Environmental Horticulture Dept., Univ. of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611

Quercus virginiana trees were container-grown (CG) or field-grown (FG) to a mean trunk diameter of 9.4 cm (3.7 inches), transplanted into sandy soil, and established with frequent or periodic irrigation. Three years after transplanting, trees were harvested with a 1.5-m- (60-inch-) diameter tree spade. Root number and root cross-sectional area was evaluated at the periphery of the tree spade-dug root ball. Despite similar increases in trunk diameter, FG trees had greater root number and root cross-sectional area than CG trees. The increase in root cross-sectional area occurred for roots 5 to 20 mm in diameter at the 0- to 25-cm and 75- to 100-cm soil depths. Irrigation frequency after transplanting had no effect on root number in FG trees; however, root number in CG trees decreased without frequent irrigation.

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