Effect of Rootball Size On Growth, Leaf Nitrogen Content, and Total Stem Nonstructual Carbohydrate Content Of Landscapesized Sugar Maple

in HortScience
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  • 1 Dept. of Horticulture, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24060

Two rootball sizes as well as a nontransplanted control were randomly assigned to Acer saccharum Marsh. (sugar maple) trees in four adjacent nursery rows at Waynesboro Nurseries in Waynesboro, Va. One size (75 cm in diameter) corresponded to the American Association of Nurserymen standards. The other rootball size was 90 cm in diameter. Trees were transplanted just before bud swell or during shoot elongation. Rootball size had no effect on height, stem diameter, or twig growth, total nonstructual leaf nitrogen content (LNC), or total stem nonstructual carbohydrate (TNC). Height growth was reduced by 81%, stem diameter growth by 71%, and twig growth by 82% for trees transplanted before bud swell compared to nontransplanted trees. LNC was 25% more on transplanted trees than on nontransplanted trees, presumably due to a dilution effect. TNC was 20% higher on transplanted compared to nontransplanted trees. Growth was severely curtailed on late-transplanted trees for all characteristics measured compared to all other treatments.