[NAFEX] Info on 'Stringfellowing' root pruning?

Heron Breen breen at fedcoseeds.com
Wed Dec 28 22:49:30 EST 2005

Hi Y'all,
After reading some of the online book by Stringfellow posted by Cornell, it is 
worth a look-see. For grafted rootstock just prior to transplanting, I have used a 
similar root pruning technique and had excellent results. Especially read the bit 
about orchards being plowed and cropped as destructive to roots, one of his points 
being it disrupts water drainage, saturation, and evaportation cycles in such 
treated soils. Tedious to read on-line yes, but for this book I'll make an 
exception. Very interesting that it has J H Hale and Luther Burbank both seconding 
the technique. I think folks may try too many things "across the board" and with 
plants too old, such as ball and burlapping where 70-90% of the root is removed at 
3" calipers, expecting success. Currently, there is an ongoing debate about woody 
plant root pruning/digging, at which stages, what species, and when it is adverse 
depending on age, and transplant success, within the nursery/hort/arborist fields. 
Some results the "biz" won't listen to, and some field observations the science 
can't explain. 
Heron Breen
zone 4, Maine     

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