Q: Container vs. Ground - can't find the post...

daygan

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Recently, (within the last three months, I think) either in a thread dedicated to the subject or as a sub-conversation within a thread, someone made the statement that he's seen better growth (in girth) in pots than in field/ground grown trees when the trees are successively repotted into larger pots as root growth demands and the comparison is limited to only a few years of growth. It was explained that particular trees were seen to have the most vigorous growth when roots had just begun to fill the entire pot, and that if the same trees were planted in the ground, roots would grow unimpeded for a longer period of time before reaching their limit and pushing growth to the top-side of the tree.

I can't find the post - I've used the in-site advanced search with every keyword that I can think of, as well as google, but I just can't find it anywhere. Does anyone remember that post, and can someone maybe point me to it again? It would be much appreciated.
 

Bill S

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Sorry don't have time to find it but look for "The Earth is not a Pot" pretty sure by Will Heath, it might reside at another site but try here.
 

daygan

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Yes, I actually did re-find that one today when I was scouring the site... Good information, and relevant to the subject, and it was in fact part of the information that I was looking for ... but after finding everything else, this one last post is the "missing piece" that I'm still looking for. Of course, I basically remember what was said, but I still want to know where the original poster posted it and get his words verbatim ...
 

Jessf

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interesting concept. seems to go against what's often said. If you find the post please post the link, I'd like to read through it.
 

iant

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You may be referring to this section from one of Brent's articles:
This is the article and below is the quote from it: http://www.evergreengardenworks.com/growfast.htm

"John asks:
Will most trees grow best in the ground as opposed to large containers? Is there a certain point where a large container works as well or better than a ground planted tree?

Brent replies:
In general trees will grow fastest when planted in the ground. However, there are some caveats to be considered. It has been my experience that trees grow more slowly when first planted in the ground rather than shifted to a larger container. This effect seems to last one to two years for most species I have observed. I think what is going on is that the tree is sacrificing top growth for root growth, but it is also possible that the tree has more difficulty getting established in this (usually) denser medium.

This is most dramatically seen in California Oaks. In nature these trees spend the first five years of their lives sinking their tap and lateral roots in search of water, the tops grow hardly at all. At some point the root growth slows, the process reverses and suddenly the top growth explodes growing as much as four or five feet in a single season after growing only inches for several years. In pots I have watched them do the same thing, they grow very little until all the soil is colonized with roots then the tops grow very quickly.

So in the long run planting in the ground is the best solution, but only if you plan to leave your trees undisturbed for three or more years, otherwise it will be slower than container growing. This assumes of course that water, soil drainage, structure and fertility are adequate. "

I hope that helps,
Ian
 

Jessf

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seems like it's a matter of knowing your trees natural growing habbits and weighing that against what you hope to accomplish and by when. Good info.
 

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