Aid in stimulating root growth in transplanted trees???

GraceNmercySeptember 24, 2013

I just purchased two paw paw trees at a large nursery here in Houston and they are about 7-8 foot tall, but in 3 gallon pots. I know most of the root system has been cut in order to put into the pots but they've been growing and surviving in the pots for a while. I plan to plant these paw paw trees along a creek on our property in northeast Texas but I want them to get a good start and give them something that will promote root growth when I plant them on the property.

I looked up Mycorrhizae Root Fungi and found some good deals on Ebay, but I know it won't arrive by mail in time before I head north to do some work on our place on Monday which is when I plan to get these trees in the ground. I don't know where else here in town to go and purchase any so I was curious as to whether anyone knows of something similar that may work just as well that I can pick up at a home depot or lows on my way out of town on Monday?

We're now in the fall season and should get some decent rains to water the plants in over the winter, but I want to make sure that the roots are good and established before the spring and hopefully get a couple of fruit...if not I just want the plants to have deep enough roots to make it through next summer. Thanks in advance for any info anyone can offer...

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GraceNmercy, micorrhizae are indeed fascinating organisms, and research within natural settings continues to show a huge array of species and relationships out there. But.........all research I've seen so far attempting to show a positive response from proprietary products has been dissappointing, save for a few studies in sterile soils such as mine tailings, where a response was noted and measured.

So what I'm saying is that, while nature is doing this all over the place, and in ways we've just barely begun to understand, human efforts to provide a beneficial product have mostly failed so far.

What you can do to ensure survival of your trees is A) Plant them in native soil-no amendments around the backfill area, B) Inspect root systems when you take them out of their pots and correct or attempt to correct any winding, circling roots you see. Also on that score, some practitioners have actually begun to wash or otherwise remove all of the potting mix, which is almost surely of a drastically different texture than the soil into which the plants will be going. this is to ensure water movement into the original rootball. Remember, there are no roots initially beyond this rootball. If that thing dries out, the plant will die. C) Try to water in a timely fashion. May be easier said than done, I know. FWIW, I've planted thousands of seedlings with no watering ever, and had most survive. Some which went into the ground as little as three and four years ago are now approaching twenty feet in height. So it can work!

Mycorrhizal products will come on line at some point, that do actually work. That is my belief and I consider it the future of all cropping systems. We're just not there yet. It's highly complex stuff, and so far at least, I do not believe we've solved issues of survival, proper matching of fungal component to plant species, etc.


    Bookmark   September 25, 2013 at 8:59AM
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The Lowes near me and at least one Garden Shop carries "Bio-Tone" Starter Plus, which contains Mycorrhizal fungi and minerals (such as Potassium) that supposedly promote root growth.

Some sources say before you plant them you should take them out of the pot and put them in a bucket of for a few minutes water to soak the roots. I find it makes the roots a bit less brittle/liable to brake during planting. I've been tempted to throw a tiny bit of fertilizer, Mycorrhizal, and rooting hormone in the bucket, but I have no evidence to back that up.

Pawpaw seem to be tough plants. I have a "brown thumb" and a poor track record transplanting things, and I planted a couple paw paws in a location I can't regularly water them. Despite this, they survived. In Texas, the main thing would be to provide partial shade during the middle of that first summer, water right after you plant them, and water that first summer.

The thing that worries me is just how much plant there is for so little root. Expect to lose leaves.

This post was edited by edlincoln on Fri, Sep 27, 13 at 16:37

    Bookmark   September 27, 2013 at 4:33PM
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I will probably try the bio tone starter since the home depot near me carries it. In the past I've used rootone when planting transplants. Last august we planted a couple of 4 foot loblolly pines and they too where in 3 gallon pots. I was concerned about the how they'd do since there wasn't much of a root system and looked like they lacked iron with the light green needles. I mixed some rootone with water and filled the planting hole and the last time I was up there this summer those trees were over 6ft with nice dark green needles. I was concerned about the paw paws because I heard a few sources say they were difficult to transplant and these have even less roots left than the pines did. Just wanted to know if there was something else out there to try..and more than likely I will be experimenting and mixing the bio tone with the rooting hormone. Anyway, thanks for the input and advice...

    Bookmark   September 27, 2013 at 5:58PM
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Everything Wisconsiton said is what I just learned in my Master Gardeners class last week on tree planting. The instructor did mention one other thing about micoriziah..sorry about the bad spelling. She said if you can find some naturally growing trees like what you are planting you can scrape up some dirt from around them and sprinkle that in and around your planting and it can actually help establish the roots. Kind of like a homemade bacteria and good fungi transplant!

    Bookmark   September 28, 2013 at 8:27AM
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fairfield8619(Zone 8 NW LA)

I've always thought that Carl Pool Root Activator seemed to make a difference. It has root hormones auxins and some other stuff and it is from TX so you should be able to find it. It seems to be under the Vital Earth brand now, see the link.

Here is a link that might be useful: Carl Pool

    Bookmark   October 8, 2013 at 12:11AM
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fairfield8619(Zone 8 NW LA)

I've always thought that Carl Pool Root Activator seemed to make a difference. It has root hormones auxins and some other stuff and it is from TX so you should be able to find it. It seems to be under the Vital Earth brand now, see the link.

Here is a link that might be useful: Carl Pool

    Bookmark   October 8, 2013 at 12:12AM
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