Canadian Forest Service Publications
Lateral root pruning of Sitka spruce and western hemlock seedlings. 1972. Eis, S.; Long, J.R. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 2(3): 223-227.
Issued by: Pacific Forestry Centre
Catalog ID: 28498
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Roots of Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis) and western hemlock (Tsugaheterophylla) seedlings were side pruned in nursery beds at semimonthly intervals to produce dense and compact root systems. Root pruning early in the growing season stimulated the growth of existing roots and also initiated new roots. The densest root systems were produced by pruning before the end of June. However, because of the short length of lateral roots on seedlings early in their second growing season, pruning equidistant between rows 18 cm apart was ineffective. The best compromise appeared to be to prune spruce at the beginning of July, and hemlock around the middle of July. Earlier pruning equidistant between rows can be effective on larger seedlings during their third growing season. If early pruning is carried out on 2 + 0 seedlings, a pruning distance of about 6 cm from the row is recommended.