Root and Stem Growth Patterns of Young `Mauritius' Lychee Trees

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  • 1 College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, University of Guam, UOG Station, Mangilao, Guam 96923
  • 2 The Montgomery Foundation, 11901 Old Cutler Road, Miami, FL 33156

`Mauritius' lychee (Litchi chinensis Sonn.) trees were planted in root observation chambers in July 1990 to determine the pattern of root and stem extension growth during 12 months. Root and stem lengths were measured at intervals ranging from 7 to 18 days from Aug. 1990 until Aug. 1991. During each period of active canopy growth, up to six stem tips were tagged and measured. Root growth was determined by measuring tracings of the extension of each root in a visible plane of the glass wall of the observation chambers. Stem growth was cyclic, with distinct periods of rapid extension followed by periods with no extension. In contrast, root growth was fairly continuous with only three periods of no visible root extension. Mean absolute extension rates were higher for stems than for roots. There were no consistent relationships between the timing of root and stem extension growth.

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