Root growth question (and the story behind it).

jlaitarMarch 2, 2012

I guess I totally didn't fill you in with the total story of my root cutting situation. So I planted two Autumn Blaze maples at my lakehouse in Michigan in 2007 (I know Ken I should've planted oaks). The taller of the two was about 9 feet at the time of planting and the smaller of the two was about 7 feet. In 2008 each grew about a foot each, however in 2009 and for each year after the smaller of the two maples grew about 3 feet each year, while the larger of the two only put on it's one foot of growth a year. So obviously the smaller one became established, but the larger one was not.

In the summer of 2010 I had a theory that the larger of the two maples at planting might have had it's root ball bound up in the container it grew in. I dug up one side of the tree and found a larger root, about 3/4" across, wrapped around the bottom of the rootball and then back up into the rootball. I cut the root at the bottom of the rootball and relaid it away from the tree with the hope that the root would regrow away from the tree to promote more vertical growth.

Last spring (2011) the slower growing maple put on it's typical foot of growth like I normally does. My question is, do you think that the root will regenerate from the severed end? And why was the larger of the two trees the slower one to grow after it was planted only 15 feet from of the other one, with the same soil and watering? Any ideas?


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toronado3800 Zone 6 StLouis(6)

Larger transolanta have it rough. More likely to be pot bound like you found out. Longer establishment time. Thats all. Keep it watered properly.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2012 at 10:23PM
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Trees will reproduce new roots at the cut end. This is also called root pruning. Even though the soil looks the same,if you took a soil test you would find different results for each spot.Circling roots can be detrimental to a tree, but it takes longer than what you are talking. So many things effect growth on a tree.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2012 at 10:54PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

i dont have time to study your full facts..

but let me just quickly note.. that it will do better now.. than it ever did ... and i bet its growth rate will catch up with the other.. in a year or two ...

i think.. the biggest issue with growing in circles.. is the inability to search for.. and find water ... it just sucks itself dry in that little circle it is growing in ...

so once its starts spreading out.. life is usually good.. even if it is a maple.. lol


    Bookmark   March 3, 2012 at 7:39PM
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Roots do not search for water or nutrients

    Bookmark   March 4, 2012 at 9:48PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

...and the biggest problem circular-growing roots usually cause is girdling of the trunks they grow around.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2012 at 10:14PM
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