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How Planting Depth Strangles Survivability and Profits Ronald E. Rothhaas, Jr. www.ArborDoctor.com Blog: www.CincinnatiGreen.comwww.CincinnatiGreen.com.

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Presentation on theme: "How Planting Depth Strangles Survivability and Profits Ronald E. Rothhaas, Jr. www.ArborDoctor.com Blog: www.CincinnatiGreen.comwww.CincinnatiGreen.com."— Presentation transcript:

1 How Planting Depth Strangles Survivability and Profits Ronald E. Rothhaas, Jr. Blog:

2 “What’s the take home message?” Kevin Griffin, Acme Tree Service

3 Ron Rothhaas OH-5177A Ron Rothhaas, member

4 Resume Associate of Applied Business, Cincinnati Technical and Community College; Bachelor of Science, The Ohio State University; Westwood Civic Association Tree Board; Avant Gardeners; Hamilton County Park District horticulture staff; City of Cincinnati Urban Forestry intern; State of Ohio Department of Natural Resources intern; Spring Grove Cemetery and Arboretum horticulture staff; Jeffrey Allen Corporation staff horticulturist; Peters Nursery and Garden Center, Lawnbuilders, Inc., tree and shrub specialist; TruGreen-Chemlawn tree and shrub specialist; TruGreen- Chemlawn Cincinnati South Branch Specialist of the Year 1997; Showcase Turf and Tree – tree and shrub specialist; Arbor Doctor owner.

5 “History repeats itself because nobody was listening the first time. ” Anonymous

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9 “It is of the highest importance in the art of detection to be able to recognize out of a number of facts which are incidental and which vital. Otherwise your energy and attention must be dissipated instead of being concentrated.“ Sherlock Holmes (well, that would be Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)

10 Tree Volcanoes

11 Air Knife Excavation of Tree Base

12 Root Flare

13 Half Excavated Tree Showing Flare Buried Several Inches Deep Root Flare 5” Deep Soil Level Sap, Indicating Stress Adventitious Roots

14 Improperly Planted Red Maple Developed Severe Girdling Root, Leading to Trunk Death

15 Quiz-What percentage of landscape trees are found to require corrective work due to deep planting or over mulching? A. 3% B. 11% C. 28% D. 99%

16 Quiz-What percentage of landscape trees are found to require corrective work due to deep planting or over mulching? A. 3% B. 11% C. 28% D. 99%

17 “After excavating over 5,000 root collars, we have found that 99% of transplanted trees require corrective work. We see many girdling roots in trees that have been over-mulched or planted too deeply. The Air Knife makes it easy to find these problem roots so they can be quickly removed.” Dave Leonard ASCA Registered Consulting Arborist, Lexington, KY

18 Quiz-What percentage of trees in Ohio nurseries have been found to have excess soil over the first order lateral roots according to published nursery standards? A. 3% B. 11% C. 28% D. 100%

19 Quiz-What percentage of trees in Ohio nurseries have been found to have excess soil over the first order lateral roots according to published nursery standards? A. 3% B. 11% C. 28% D. 100%

20 The average depth of lateral roots of trees growing in Ohio nurseries and stored in brokerage lots was 2.4 and 3.4 in. respectively. All trees surveyed had excess soil over the first order lateral roots according to published nursery standards. Methods of propagation and field years did not influence the depth of the first order lateral roots in nursery production fields or in brokerage lots. It is hoped that this research will raise awareness of the lateral root depth problem and prompt a change in nursery production and harvesting techniques. A Survey of the Lateral Root Depth of Ohio Nursery Trees Richard g. Rathjens and T. Davis Sydnor School of Environment and Natural Resources, The Ohio State University

21 The bottom of the trunk flare shall be at or above the finished grade. ANSI A300 (Part 6)

22 36 Norwegian Sunset Maples

23 Air Knife Used to Excavate Root Ball

24 34 of 36 Trees Were Too Deep Original Grade Root Flare, 8 Inches Deep

25 Deep planting resulted in loss of 50% of the 15-cm and 31-cm deep-planted Yoshino cherries in the first two years, whereas all the control cherries survived…

26 Short-term survival of red maples was not affected by planting depth. Deep-planted trees had far fewer in the upper soil layers than properly-planted trees one full year after transplant for both species. Control maples had 14+29% of their trunk circumference encircled by girdling or potentially-girdling roots, this number rose to 48+29% and 71+21% for 15-cm and 31-cm deep planted maples, respectively…

27 There were no treatment related differences in girdling root development in the cherries. Deep planting can predispose trees to transplant failure and girdling root formation. Effects of planting depth on landscape tree survival and girdling root formation Christina Wells1, Karen Townsend1, Judy Caldwell1, Don Ham2, Mike Sherwood3, and E. Thomas Smiley3 1Department of Horticulture, Clemson University 2Department of Forestry & Natural Resources, Clemson University 3Bartlett Tree research Laboratories

28 Built in Obsolescence

29 Trees can, and do, leave the nursery with roots too deep in the root ball… If this adventitious root flare is more that a few inches below the natural location, and adjustments are not made during harvest from the nursery and replanting in the landscape, performance in the landscape will be reduced. Distinguishing Between Root System Architecture Changes and Planting Too Deep Gary Watson and Angela Hewitt The Morton Arboretum

30 ‘Getting the roots right’ is a problem that involves every aspect of the green industry, and everyone has to do their part to keep roots at the right depth. Getting the Roots Right Conference Proceedings – Watson and Hewitt

31 You Can Not Plant A Tree Correctly While Leaving The Burlap, Rope and Twine On!

32 All root ball supporting materials should be cut-off from the top third of the root ball and removed from the planting hole prior to final back filling. ANSI A

33 Tree Planting Procedures 1. Dig hole several inches shallower and 1.5 times width of root ball. 2. Set root ball on firm, un-disturbed soil. 3. Backfill tree halfway. Be sure tree is firmed in and straight. 4. Remove all twine, rope, nails, and burlap from the top third of the root ball. 5. Use a strong jet of water to cut down the root ball soil until you locate the flare. 6. Wash some of the soil off the roots on the sides of the root ball so that the roots will be extending into the backfill when finished. 7. Hole is then backfilled so that the grade is even with but not over the top of the root ball. Soil may be placed over top of the root ball if it is necessary to re-establish the grade to be even with the flare. 8. Backfill may be amended no more than twenty percent. Other inoculants and a slow release fertilizer can be added as needed.

34 Garden Centers: Communicate proper planting to customers. We all need to educate consumers that the graft union is not a defect and should be seen above ground. Getting the Roots Right Conference Proceedings – Watson and Hewitt

35 Growers: Certify depth of trees leaving your nursery When planting liners, leave the crook and cutback wound exposed. If you plant too deep, you may be reducing the caliper measurement and the market price of the tree. Getting the Roots Right Conference Proceedings – Watson and Hewitt

36 Landscape Architects, Designers: Specify the proper location of structural roots in the root ball, and after planting. Choose the trees in grower’s fields that are planted properly to avoid problems later. They will also be the most vigorous. Getting the Roots Right Conference Proceedings – Watson and Hewitt

37 Landscape Contractors:  Plant correctly  Mulch and edge correctly  No mulch volcanoes!!!!!

38 Landscape Contractors:  Plant correctly  Mulch and edge correctly  No mulch volcanoes!!!!!

39 Landscape Contractors: Locate the structural roots in the root ball before planting. This can be done by probing with a surveyor’s chaining pin or piece of wire. Plant the structural roots just below grade. Getting the Roots Right Conference Proceedings – Watson and Hewitt

40 "It is not only what we do, but also what we do not do, for which we are accountable." Moliere French actor and playwright

41 How Planting Depth Strangles Survivability and Profits Ronald E. Rothhaas, Jr. Arbor Doctor, LLC


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