[NAFEX] Planting Clonal Rootstock

Mauch1 at aol.com Mauch1 at aol.com
Thu Apr 29 10:14:05 EDT 2004

Del, since your original question seems to have gone the way of the Black Walnut :-), I thought I'd try to give a personal answer to your question.

>Question 1: How important is it to get the individual roots >of a clonal 
>rootstock layed out in its own path?
>By just throwing dirt around it they all clump together - >?>but they are so 
>fine and tangled it seems rediculously laborious to seperate >them, 
>especially if there are a lot to plant.
I'd guess I'd come somewhere "in-between", I'm a hobbyist and planting a few at a time (although I typically don't have much time :-(  I try to spread the roots out a little bit, but I don't make sure that each of those roots has a seperate path.  If you were using a tree planter, I'd guess you'd barely have time to get the tree in the soil.  

>Question 2: I prune seedling roots somewhat like I do a >tree, how does one 
>prune the masses of little roots of clonal rootstocks?
>My thought is to remove half of them right at the base - >rather than cutting 
>the tips (thinking of 5 years down the road - and all those >tiny roots 
>strangling each other)
Well, I typically try not to trim roots.  I try to make my hole wide enough to harbor all the roots.  I'll even allow them to make a slight spiral as long as the roots aren't actually wrapping around the hole.  As to the clonal stocks, I think they root prune themselves.  When you did them up after they've grown, only a few of the roots will have survived and become dominant.  I (think) it will look pretty much like the seedling stocks (but no tap root).

Chris Mauchline
SE PA, zone 6
40° 5' N    75° 51'W
~650 ft elevation

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