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  • From: "del stubbs" <>
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  • Subject: RE: [NAFEX] Pruning clonal roots
  • Date: Fri, 30 Apr 2004 13:18:49 +0000

Actually Kevin your response points to the question I did not ask - about pruning seedling roots. My ignorant understanding of all root pruning is that its goal is to both stimulate new root growth, and to equalize the roots to whatever pruning has been done to the trees' top.
I have wondered in seedling roots - does this mean trimming length - or trimming weight/mass? If length, then one is pruning only small dia. fiber roots, if by mass or weight, it means cutting the more tuberous roots like a tap root, which have much more storage capacity. Your response says storage capacity is what one needs to keep.
But take for example a renetka rootstock, cut below ground level, and w/t root grafted. The 3' whip is now cut down to only one or two buds - a loss of say 95 percent. Surely one does not then prune roots 95 percent also? If in this instance one does not prune the roots, can it be surmised that many roots will starve/ die for lack of leaves to feed them? Or do the leaves merely provide nutrients for new growth.?
Does it really matter if roots are greatly oversized compared to a pruned top - what really happens to 'starved roots'?
thanks, Del
z 2/3 where the saskatoon buds are swelling

I trim the long fibrous roots short enough so they don't cross each
When I worked for a large nursery we trimmed hundreds of roots per
;day and used pruning shears for bundles of small trees and shrubs,
lopping the long fibrous roots off as they dangled down, we cut them
;short, to within a few inches of the main root. Sometimes this meant
cutting 80% of the root length.
;I don't worry about cutting a lot off of thin fibrous roots, I don't
;think they contain that much in nutrients whereas larger firm roots
;do, (I usually only cut the ends off of larger roots to make sure
they have a clean cut)
I hope this addresses your concerns
Kevin Bradley

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