Growth of Container-grown Trees Transplanted from the Field or Grow-bags

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  • 1 Associate Professor, Department of Horticulture and the Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station, Auburn University AL 36849-5630.
  • 2 Professor, Department of Horticulture and the Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station, Auburn University, AL 36849-5630.
  • 3 Superintendent, Ornamental Horticulture Substation, Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station, Mobile, AL 36008-0276.
  • 4 Superintendent, Gulf Coast Substation, Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station, Fairhope, AL 36532.

Crape myrtle (Lagerstroe-mia L. × `Natchez'), live oak (Quercus virginiana Mill.), and Chinese pistachio (Pistacia chinensis Bunge) were planted into a sandy loam soil directly in the field or in grow-bags. Root and top growth were measured in March and July of the second year. Some of the trees were transplanted to 20-gal (76-liter) containers in March or July and grown for 3 months. Chinese pistachio developed a poor root system in field soil and was not ready for harvest in March or July. There was no difference in height, caliper, or top fresh weight for crape myrtle. Caliper and top fresh weight were similar for live oak trees. However, live oaks grown by traditional field production methods were taller than trees produced in grow-bags. With March transplanting, both crape myrtle and live oak trees from traditional field plantings were taller than trees transplanted from grow-bags 3 months after transplanting into containers. Tree top weight, caliper, and root ratings were similar for March-transplanted crape myrtle. Live oak trees transplanted from grow-bags had similar caliper and top weight but a higher root rating. July-transplanted crape myrtle trees had similar values for all variables 3 months later. All live oaks died when transplanted from traditional field plantings to containers in July. All live oaks grown in grow-bags survived transplanting.

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