Pruning field grown Trident roots. How short?

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Shohin
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I spent today lifting Trident Maples that have been planted out in a paddock for two to three years. The trunks are between one and two inches thick. Time spent developing radial roots before planting has paid off in that each tree has six or more roots spreading out from the trunk like spokes in a wagon wheel. Each root is about pencil thick but very long, >1 foot. There was also several downward (improvisational tap roots)and cross-over roots, which were pruned off or back to an appropriate place. I trimmed all thick roots back to about 2 inches from the trunk.

My question is: How short would you trim these roots before replanting the tree?


p.s. I live in Australia, and spring is in the air here.

Paul
 

rockm

Spuds Moyogi
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It all depends on what you're after. If you're after larger trunks, you are lifting them far too soon and defeating the purpose of growing them in the ground. The longer the root run, the faster trunks gain heft and character.

If you're after shito or mame sized trunks, radically pruning the root structure back to a few inches or less will induce more density...
 

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Shohin
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Thanks for your replies.

Sorry no photos at this stage.

I'm not after large trunks, aiming at 3-4 inches. My objective for these trees is to develop more feminine, graceful trunks, rather than sumo type, pyramidal trunks. Finish tree height approx 18 inches. These are my first field plantings and are about learning how trees grow in a paddock.

I've noticed that after awhile the smaller roots about the base of the trunk diminish as heavier roots dominate. I've considered spading them, though have noticed this tends to cause longitudinal splits along thick roots rather than a nice slice.

Certainly there is a trade off between growth rate and frequency of lifting, and I'm aware that most people want maximum gains in shortest time possible. However, I'm curious if there is a relationship with length of root remaining, after root pruning, and the formation of new roots about the trunk. I'm also curious about what other people do.


Paul
 
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