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The growth of shoots and lateral roots of Quercus robur L. seedlings following simulated undercutting

Abstract

The effect of cutting the tap root on shoot growth and development of lateral roots was observed in seedling Quercus robur L. growing in PVC tubes containing peat and perlite. Cutting the tap root had little effect on shoot height and leaf number although some treatments caused a significant but slight reduction in shoot dry weight and number of branches. Total root dry weight was similar in control and treated plants but distributed differently between the types of root present. The tap root always formed the largest part of the total root dry weight. In control plants most lateral root dry weight was in roots < 1 mm diameter whereas in treated plants most dry weight was in roots > 1 mm diameter. Development of the root system following root cutting was similar for all treatments: new long laterals > 1 mm diameter with relatively few branches, that formed replacement tap roots, developed near the cut end of the original tap root. Fine laterals (< 1 mm diameter) near the root collar continued to grow forming highly branched systems.

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Harmer, R., Walder, K.E. The growth of shoots and lateral roots of Quercus robur L. seedlings following simulated undercutting. New Forest 8, 351–362 (1994). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00036734

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00036734

Key words

  • branches
  • fine fibrous root
  • long roots
  • tap root