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Air-pruned vs. deep propagation container

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jiffy pots air prune roots traditional deep containers right

Trees in Jiffy pots which air-prune on the bottom and sides of the container (left) and in traditional deeper containers (right).

more branched shallow root system from jiffy pots

Trees in the shallow Jiffy pots (top) had a more branched shallow root system, and tops had already begun to grow. Trees in the deeper traditional pots with ribbed plastic sides (bottom) had few lateral roots and no top growth. Oaks and other tap rooted species might do even better in deeper air-pruning containers than shown above.

trees in air pruning pots were superior

The trees grown in the air-pruning pots were clearly superior to those grown in the deep pots. The tap root grew out the bottom of the container into the air which pruned the root and this encouraged lateral root development toward the surface. This was discovered more than 30 years ago. Trees courtesy Brian Kempf, Urban Tree Foundation, Visalia CA.