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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Washington, D.C. » National Arboretum » Floral and Nursery Plants Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #190166


item Fare, Donna

Submitted to: Journal Of Arboriculture
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/20/2006
Publication Date: 6/30/2006
Citation: Fare, D. 2006. Landscape establishment of trees transplanted as balled and burlapped or bare root. J. of Arboriculture.

Interpretive Summary: Two-inch caliper Bradford pear, Kwanzan cherry and October Glory red maple were harvested as bare root trees and compared to the traditional method of trees harvested as balled and burlapped. Within 2 years of transplanting, height growth was similar among treatments within in each species. Though some trunk growth reduction was observed on bare root trees, the advantages with bare root trees may out weigh the handling methods required for balled and burlapped trees. Pesticide applications required for balled and burlapped trees that are sold and transported out of pest quarantined areas are not necessary for trees harvested as bare root, shipping and handling costs would be less with bare root trees than the balled and burlapped trees, and field nursery soil would not be depleted with bare root harvest as needed with balled and burlap trees. Bare root harvest is a method, with some caveats, that can provide an alternative to traditional harvest of balled and burlap landscape trees.

Technical Abstract: Pyrus calleryana Decne. ‘Bradford’ pear, Acer rubrum L. ‘October Glory’ maple and Prunus serrulata Lindl. ‘Kwanzan’ were harvested dormant as 1) bare root and balled and burlapped trees during fall or early winter and planted, 2) harvested in fall or early winter, stored and planted in spring, or 3) harvested in spring and planted. Trunk caliper averaged 5 cm (2 in) when trees where removed from the nurseries. Survival and landscape establishment was excellent for all genera during each two year evaluation. In experiment 1, height growth of Bradford pear was sporadic among harvest methods during the first year, but similar in growth during year 2. Trunk diameter increases were similar during both years. At the end of two years, height growth of Kwanzan cherry was similar among harvest methods. Kwanzan cherry trunk diameter increases were 56% and 7% greater, in year 1 and 2, respectively, with B&B trees compared to BR trees. In experiment 2, height growth was similar on October Glory maples; however, trunk diameter was about 5% larger on B&B trees compared to BR trees. In experiment 3, Kwanzan cherry height and trunk diameter growth was similar among all trees regardless of harvest method or harvest time. Height growth of Bradford pear was not affected by harvest time or harvest method. Trunk diameter growth was 20% greater with trees harvested as B&B compared to BR during year 1, but was similar in growth in year 2. Bradford pear trees harvested as BR had about 27% fewer leaves with 17% less leaf area during year 1 than B&B trees. During the second and third growing season, leaf growth and expansion was similar.