[nafex] mycorrhizal fungi failure?

Lucky Pittman Lucky.Pittman at murraystate.edu
Thu Dec 6 11:56:00 EST 2001

At 10:34 AM 12/06/2001 -0500, Brian wrote:
>Were your red oaks 4 inches or 4 feet in transplanting?  Could the fact be
>that you tried to transplant trees that had an "established" root system vs.
>seedlings.  The injury that you may have caused, despite your best effort,
>to the root system may be the reason why the 4 foot tree never quite
>recovered, especially if it had a tap root.

They were 4 ft., but had been root-pruned in the nursery at least one or 
more growing seasons before they were lifted.  I'm well aware that they 
lost the vast majority of their 'feeder' root system when lifted, but in 
the ensuing 5-6 years, they SHOULD have recovered and shown some modicum of 
growth. j Most have leafed out each subsequent year, but that's been about 
the extent of it.

I've grown, dug, & transplanted enough strongly taprooted species(oak, 
pecan/hickory, walnut, persimmon/pawpaw) that I don't buy into that old saw 
about the taproot being a sacred thing.  It's really not much more than a 
food storage structure, and taprooted species do just fine after having 
their taproot severed.  As a matter of fact, there are quite a number of 
folks, including commercial forestry nurseries, who are now growing 
taprooted species in raised, open-bottomed containers so that the taproot 
is 'air-pruned' when it exits the growth medium, and the seedling is 
stimulated to develop a more lateralized fibrous root system - resulting in 
enhanced transplant survival & establishment - and, perhaps, earlier mast 

Check out these websites:



Lucky Pittman
USDA Zone 6
Hopkinsville, KY

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