University of Florida

Home > Nursery tree production > Root system > Propagating quality liners > Liner pot impacts root quality

Liner pot impacts root qualityuniform distribution of roots

Liners can be produced in many different types of containers. Most are constructed of plastic, but quality containers made of paper of various types are also available. Roots in the propagation container should be uniformly distributed throughout the root ball (see right photo), not concentrated on the bottom, top or side. Roots react to different containers by deflecting and growing in different manners. The objective is to develop straight roots oriented radially from the trunk as shown in right photo. Some containers can truly accomplish this with little mechanical input from growers. More commonly, root pruning and teasing apart root balls is needed on many trees. See: the container that produced the root system shown at right in the ten months after sowing seeds.

Oaks | Maples | Holly | Baldcypress | Buttonwood | Tabebuia

roots growing up down and around container: root defects

Roots growing up, down, and around the walls of the propagation container. These are severe root defects. The liner pot shown below grew both of thee root systems.

roots grown from taproot on just one side

Roots emerged from the tap root on just one side because tap root grew down against the propagation container wall. This caused all roots on the left side to abort and deflect. One large root can be seen growing up from the upper left of the tap root. This root can be seen reached the top of the substrate and circling the trunk.

smooth sided liner pots grew the defective roots above

Smooth sided liner pot grew both of the root systems that are shown above.