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Title: Root system structure in planted and seeded loblolly and shortleaf pine

Author: Harrington, Constance A.; Brissette, John C.; Carlson, William C.

Year: 1989

Publication: Forest Science. 35(2): 469-480.

Abstract: Differences in root system structure attributable to stand origin were examined by pairing seeded and planted stands of loblolly (Pinus taeda L.) and shortleaf pine (P. echinata Mill.). The 17 paired stands were 3 to 9 years old and located in Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas on similar soil and site conditions. Root systems from 12 trees were excavated from each stand, classified by root system type and measured for number and size of first-order lateral roots and amount of root spiraling and bending. Although root systems of planted trees were commonly deformed, the most consistent difference in root system structure between planted and seeded trees was the increased distance from groundline to the uppermost lateral roots on planted seedlings. A linear discriminant function including this variable correctly classified all loblolly pine plots and 89% of the shortleaf pine plots as to whether the plot had been planted or seeded. Planted trees also had fewer first-order lateral roots less than 10 mm in diameter and exhibited greater spiraling and bending of major first-order laterals than seeded trees. Differences in root system structure between planted and seeded trees were similar for the two species.

Last Modified: 12/4/2007

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