Water Relations of Field-grown Quercus virginiana Mill. from Preharvest through Containerization and 1 Year into a Landscape

in Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science
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  • 1 Central Florida Research and Education Center, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, 2700 East Celery Avenue, Sanford, FL 32771-9608

Large (≈5 m high) Quercus virginiana Mill. (live oak) trees produced in 0.64-m-diameter in-ground fabric containers were root pruned or not root pruned inside containers before harvest. Harvested trees were grown in two sizes of polyethylene containers for 10 months, then transplanted into a landscape. Water potential (ψT) of small branches (<4 mm in diameter) was measured diurnally during containerization and for 1 year in the landscape. Root pruning had no influence on postharvest survival. Neither root pruning nor container size affected tree water status during containerization or in the landscape. All surviving trees recovered from transplant shock following harvest after 16 weeks in a container, independent of treatment. In the landscape, 35 weeks of daily irrigation were required before dusk ψT declined to within 0.1 MPa of predawn values, a result indicating alleviation of transplant shock. Trunk growth rate during containerization was highest in larger containers. However, in the landscape, root pruning and small containers were associated with higher trunk growth rate. Tree water status during containerization and in the landscape is discussed.

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