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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Corvallis, Oregon » Horticultural Crops Research Unit » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #140550

Title: ROOT DAMAGE AFFECTS NITROGEN UPTAKE AND GROWTH OF YOUNG FUJI/M26 APPLE TREES

Author
item DONG, SHUFU
item CHENG, LAILIANG
item Scagel, Carolyn
item FUCHIGAMI, LESLIE

Submitted to: Journal of Horticultural Science and Biotechnology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/24/2003
Publication Date: 5/1/2003
Citation: Dong, S., Cheng, L., Scagel, C.F., Fuchigami, L.H. 2003. Root damage affects nitrogen uptake and growth of young fuji/m26 apple trees. Journal of Horticultural Science and Biotechnology. 78(3)41-415.

Interpretive Summary: In newly transplanted trees, the root system may experience some damage during the transplanting operation, which may also play some role in delaying nutrient uptake. Transplanting is an unavoidable operation in many horticultural practices. Therefore, it is important to know the influence of the roote damage during transplanting on nutrient uptake and growth during plant establishment. Effects of root damage during the transplant process on growth and nitrogen (N) uptake were studied with one-year-old Bench-grafted Malus domestica Borkh var. Fuji on M26 rootstock apple nursery plants. Bareroot plants were either: (1) intact roots (IR), (2) transplanted with about 10% of the root system damaged during tansplant (TR); or (3) root pruned by 25% prior to transplant (RP). Root pruning reduced plant total biomass and root biomass 12 and 41 days after transplant, but the plants from the RP treatment had highest total plant biomass and root biomass 76 days after transplant. There was no significant difference in the new stem and leaf growth among TR, RP and IR treatments at harvests but the TP treatment reduced new shoot biomass. Plants with intact roots (IR) had the higher total N content while control plants. Root pruning reduced N uptake at the first two harvests but promoted it at the third harvest. The negative effects of root pruining during transplant on growth and N uptake were offset later in the season by compensative root regeneration.

Technical Abstract: Effects of root damage during the transplant process on growth and nitrogen (N) uptake were studied with one-year-old Bench-grafted Malus domestica Borkh var. Fuji on M26 rootstock apple nursery plants. Plants were potted after grafting and grown outside for one season. At the end of the season uniform trees were selected and randomly divided into four groups. One group of plants were moved into a 2¿C cold room with soil and container intact (IR Treatment). Plants in other groups were removed from pots and stored as bareroot in the same cold room. In the spring, bareroot plants were either: (1) transplanted with about 10% of the root system damaged during transplant (TR Treatment and Control- CK); or (2) root pruned by 25% prior to transplant (RP treatment). Five trees from each treatment received 1 g of 15NH415NO3 at 12, 41, and 76 d after repotting. Control (CK) trees received no N. Trees were harvested 10 d after each N application, and plant growth and total N and 15N content of different tissues were determined. Root pruning reduced plant total biomass and root biomass at first two harvests, but the plants from the RP treatment had highest total plant biomass and root biomass at the third harvest. There was no significant difference in the new stem and leaf growth among IR, RP and CK treatments at harvests but the TP treatment reduced new shoot biomass. Plants with intact roots (IR) had the higher total N content while control plants (CK) had the lowest. Root pruning reduced 15N uptake at the first two harvests but promoted it at the third harvest. The negative effects of root damage during transplant on growth and N uptake were offset later in the season by compensative root regeneration