Canadian Forest Service Publications

Early root morphology of jack pine seedlings grown in different types of container. 2006. Chapman, K.; Colombo, S.J. Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research 21: 372-379.

Year: 2006

Issued by: Great Lakes Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 28301

Language: English

Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

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This study compared the effects of container type on early root system morphology of jack pine (Pinus banksiana Lamb.) seedlings to determine impacts of container type on root characteristics that may be important for tree stability. Seedlings were grown for one season in Multipots®, Ventblocks®, Copperblocks®, Starpots® and Jiffy® pellets, and for a second season in sand culture in pots. After the first growing season, roots that had grown between Jiffy plugs were cut using a knife, either "early", in September, or "late", in November. Seedlings produced in non-pruning containers, Multipots and Ventblocks, had more vertical structural roots, less even root distribution and high shoot:root mass after a second season. Seedlings grown in pruning containers, Copperblocks, Starpots and Jiffy pellets, had more horizontal structural roots and more evenly distributed roots. Jiffy seedlings had high shoot:root mass after pruning, but ratios decreased to low levels similar to Starpots and Copperblocks after a second season in pots. Early pruning of Jiffy seedlings removed less root mass than late pruning, but total live root mass of early and late pruned seedlings was similar after the potting trial. Pruning containers thus produced structural root forms with more desirable characteristics for tree stability. These characteristics were evident after the first season and persisted after the second season in the potting trial.