The root : shoot ratio for Ilex cassine L. grown 7 months in copper-treated containers was less than in nontreated containers. There was less dry weight for roots <5 mm in diameter in copper-treated containers than in nontreated containers in the outer 1 cm of the rootball. Dry weight of roots >5 mm in diameter within the rootball were not affected by copper hydroxide treatment. Coating the interior of a plastic container with cupric hydroxide eliminated coarse roots (> 5 mm in diameter) and significantly reduced fine root weight from the outer 1 cm of the rootball. Fine roots inside the rootball did not replace fine roots lacking in the outer 1 cm.