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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Corvallis, Oregon » Horticultural Crops Research Unit » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #199764

Title: Root Death In Landscapes: Natural Causes, Accidents, And Murder

item Scagel, Carolyn

Submitted to: American Nurseryman
Publication Type: Trade Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/27/2006
Publication Date: 1/15/2008
Citation: Scagel, C.F., Mathers, H. 2008. Root death in landscapes: natural causes, accidents, and murder. American Nurseryman. 207(2):26-34.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Unhealthy root systems are one of the primary reasons for slow plant growth or plant death after transplanting. Ornamental plants are subject to stresses that plants in native environments seldom encounter and are frequently subjected to cultural practices that can adversely affect their growth. Plants grow best within certain ranges of various abiotic factors that make up their environment (e.g. temperature, soil moisture, soil nutrients and chemistry, light, air quality, relative humidity, and soil structure). The focus of this article is on abiotic factors that effect root growth and survival – including pre-transplant factors that influence stock quality (plant selection, container size), soil type and amendments (mulches, fertilizers), root treatments (growth regulators, hydrophilic gels), and planting practices. Reasons for poor growth and root death after transplanting are discussed.