Late summer repotting

Jorow99

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With all due respect, because I really appreciate what is being broken down here, and the efforts to further these concepts with even more clarity, but I take issue with the use of the word wood.
I get it, but for the sake of further clarity I believe you are referring only to living (new or otherwise) vascular tissue (xylem/phloem). True wood is only secondary xylem which is no longer living or capable of transporting water, hormones, nutrients etc.
I am not a biologist, so thank you for correcting me. Now I can be more precise.
 

0soyoung

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Really cool that you measures the trunk thickness to try to figure that out, is love to see the data if you have it in another thread. The fall tissue growth would be much harder to measure since the vessels and tracheids are smaller, so I think to see any difference in the amount of fall tissue added we would need a lot of trees to measure. Or maybe the tree prioritizes the fall xylem over new roots regardless.
The measurement methodology and graphic compilation is in the Douglas fir Repotting Experiment, Lodgepole Pine Repot Experiment, Cork Oak Repot Experiment, Zelkova Repotting Experiment, and Redbud Potting Experiment threads. I have also found the same with acer palmatum and a few other species that I have in my collection - enough to convince myself that all species do this.

I think that greater precision is required to detect the effects you have in mind. Maybe an in-situ electronic caliper apparatus would be needed. But then again, maybe it is in there and would be found with a more careful analysis. I do recall noting shrinkage of the lodgepole trunks late in fall, corresponding to them sugaring-up and drying out for winter hardiness. So, one ought to be able to likewise measure the expansion of stems from a high water tension state that foliage had wilted/drooped and then watered. Personally, I have had enough of laboring like a new biology graduate student 🤓.
 

Maloghurst

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I am not a biologist, so thank you for correcting me. Now I can be more precise.
Just throwing that out there.
From everything I’ve read about root growth. There are 2 periods of root growth. One starting in spring with maximum growth in early summer. Then a short dormant period. Then a shorter root growth period in the fall before dormancy.
Makes perfect sense that you can repot a a refined bonsai in fall if you need too and you don’t do too much to the roots and have proper aftercare.
But I personally will not be doing “extensive”root work on my trees in the fall. Like removing a rootbound nursery or field grown maple from a can or field and heavily working roots.
Seems that when extensive root work is done it will give it the best chance to have both root growth periods in a year before going into winter dormancy.
 

Cable

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From everything I’ve read about root growth. There are 2 periods of root growth. One starting in spring with maximum growth in early summer. Then a short dormant period. Then a shorter root growth period in the fall before dormancy.
That's not true, roots will continue to grow in the winter as long as the soil isn't frozen.
 

Forsoothe!

Chumono
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Seems that when extensive root work is done it will give it the best chance to have both root growth periods in a year before going into winter dormancy.
Yes, it can be done by anyone, anytime, BUT to give them the best chance of success, roots need as much growth as they can get before going into winter. My opinion.
 

Maloghurst

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Yes, it can be done by anyone, anytime, BUT to give them the best chance of success, roots need as much growth as they can get before going into winter. My opinion.
I did not say anyone anytime can repot any tree. My point (and you quoted it) was exactly what you stated. “Seems that when extensive root work is done it will give it the best chance to have both root growth periods in a year before going into winter dormancy.” Were you just confirming my statement? Sorry I’m just confused are we saying the same thing?
 

TN_Jim

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I am not a biologist, so thank you for correcting 3me. Now I can be more precise.
You dropped some much needed sense and appreciated knowledge that made me wake up amidst some summer potting hoopla. Thank you.

Also you were are right very right about water transportation through what is realitively wood, in that there is a gradient of still conducive tissue from and near the vascular cambium that is vessels/trachids, non-living tissue that can conduct water and nutrients, i was incorrect and holding a broad brush

I honestly appreciate some coherent light in this thread. Thanks

257092
 

Maloghurst

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That's not true, roots will continue to grow in the winter as long as the soil isn't frozen.
What are you referring to? We don’t get much freezing temps here but we definitely have a dormant period. You’ll have to explain to me or point me to the literature where roots will continue growing year round. If the growth is so minimal as to have no real effect then why mention it? Not sure where this is from but all the studies I’ve read are in line with this graph.
95C30FE6-905F-44FD-B152-0BC995131365.png
 

M. Frary

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But, I've been told before that if you're not willing to spend hundreds of dollars on a piece of stock and hone your skills to perfection you don't belong in the art
Whoever said that actually has more money than brains.
I have a few trees that are worth in the hundreds of dollars.
The most I spent on any of them is $7.00.
There is no need to spend hundreds of dollars on a tree if you're willing to spend the time.
The hundreds of dollars you pay for is someone's time.
 

sorce

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That's not true, roots will continue to grow in the winter as long as the soil isn't frozen.
And thru the summer if not too hot.

If there are "periods", it's every moon.

I would love to see the natural conditions in which these said root growth "periods" are observed.🤔

Sounds completely made up at best.

Trees are more opportunistic than stupid.

Sorce
 

Cable

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What are you referring to? We don’t get much freezing temps here but we definitely have a dormant period. You’ll have to explain to me or point me to the literature where roots will continue growing year round. If the growth is so minimal as to have no real effect then why mention it? Not sure where this is from but all the studies I’ve read are in line with this graph.
Only took 30 seconds to research this but here's one: https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=20&ved=2ahUKEwjaxPnL6frjAhVSbc0KHWPUCmMQFjATegQICRAC&url=http://arnoldia.arboretum.harvard.edu/pdf/articles/1989-49-4-tree-roots-facts-and-fallacies.pdf&usg=AOvVaw3pAK1jX5_VOCaqpFpCTq8a

"By repeatedly digging up, measuring, and then reburying them, researchers have observed that roots can grow throughout the winter—whenever soil temperatures are above 5 degrees C (40 F) (Hammerle, 1901; Crider, 1928; Ladefoged, 1939)."

I learned it because my old house had issues with tree roots blocking my sewer lines and usually they had to be cleaned out during the winter.
 

Cable

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So, I re-potted the three jap maples last night. I was pretty ho-hum about them because they looked plain and straight in the pots (though the littlest one had some curves). It turns out I was correct in that the pots were full of clay and heavy soil (pretty good garden soil at least). I was wrong about the other two trees, though. They were both planted far too deep and below ground I found some nice movement and nice thick roots. Now the after care begins.
Below are the three trees. I found out a little more about them. Apparently they were dug up from my sister's yard so they were seedlings. My brother-in-law didn't like them because they grew too slowly. My dad took them and held onto them for a year or so but he also didn't like them because they grew too slow so gave them to me. I like them.

2019-08-10 18.45.26.jpg2019-08-10 18.45.33.jpg2019-08-10 18.46.04.jpg
 

sorce

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By repeatedly digging up, measuring, and then reburying them, researchers have observed that roots can grow throughout the winter—whenever soil temperatures are above 5 degrees C (40 F) (Hammerle, 1901; Crider, 1928; Ladefoged, 1939)."

I learned it because my old house had issues with tree roots blocking my sewer lines and usually they had to be cleaned out during the winter.
See I can't get behind dug up and measured. We know pruning causes more growth, and digging causes pruning.

But I also first heard it in regards to plumbing!

Sorce
 

Forsoothe!

Chumono
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I did not say anyone anytime can repot any tree. My point (and you quoted it) was exactly what you stated. “Seems that when extensive root work is done it will give it the best chance to have both root growth periods in a year before going into winter dormancy.” Were you just confirming my statement? Sorry I’m just confused are we saying the same thing?
Sorry for the confusion, I am seconding your thought and adding, a little clumsily, that whenever it's done the perpetrator should be aware of the plant's need to have root growth before winter, and I think the more, the better.
 

Forsoothe!

Chumono
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What does the amount of growth have to do with it?
There are a lot of blanks to fill in for me to follow why you think/believe this.
It's putting resources away for use in spring. If you cut off all the roots, you'd have some result. If you leave all the roots alone, you'd have a different result. I think the middle ground would have a spread of results, probably linear.
 

Forsoothe!

Chumono
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That's not true, roots will continue to grow in the winter as long as the soil isn't frozen.
I want to echo this. I don't have any charts or studies to present, but my experience watching things grow for 50 years leads me to believe that, yes, there is a quiescent period, some different number of days for each species, but when that period is satisfied, growth returns when local conditions permit, and they go into and out of a plant ~coma~ when conditions change for the worse. That happens a lot in SE Michigan over many months from January to April. I see blue Periwinkle flowers in my borders almost every month over winter. Often, in the suburbs where the ground is protected from howling winter by buildings and the sun can warm the land and concrete between houses, and the houses occupy ~20 or 25% of the space, the ground doesn't get much below 30°F. I have measured continually the temperature of strategic parts of my garden for about 20 years (years ago), and 29, 30 or 31°F in the first 6" of soil under mulch, or ground cover, or snow were the most common readings. I used these readings to gauge my gardening activities, for about 20 years.

This, "growing when conditions permit", allows plants to grow in zones ~4 thru 9, etc. The difference in season length can be enormous, but they satisfy their needs for rest and are then ready, willing, and able to grow. There is data for genus Hosta, 700 hours. They are put into dormancy by the progression of conditions of late summer and autumn: completion of ripening seeds, maturing buds for next year, exhaustion of leaf surfaces, reduced heat and sun photo-period/intensity, dryer weather, frost, et al, the precise combination of these cascading factors locally dependent.

How much root growth in winter and early spring? I don't know, I can't see underground, but I can see what I believe is witness to growth.
 

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