Can/do plants propagated asexually by cutting form taproots ?

ZoztrogJanuary 12, 2011

Can/do plants propagated asexually by cutting form taproots ? Wondering mostly about trees.

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yiorges-z5il

Many plants may be propagated using stem cuttinggs ... a few may be propagates from laterial root cuttings BUT I know of none that may be propagated using a trees tap root

    Bookmark   January 13, 2011 at 4:40PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

Many plants can be propagated from taproots. Just look at how easily dandelions sprout back from small pieces of their taproots when they're left in place during weeding. I would guess that most taprooted plants (including trees), that can be propagated by root cuttings, can also be grown from taproot cuttings.

BUT, the big issue is why one would do this. Collecting near-surface lateral roots for propagation is easy and doesn't seem to significantly affect many plants. Collecting taproot cuttings, on the contrary, would require digging up the parent plant and (in many cases) subjecting the parent plant to significant transplant shock. Taproot propagation might be interesting from a scientific standpoint, but I don't see much practical value for the technique.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2011 at 6:50PM
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Zoztrog

I guess I wasn't clear enough, sorry. I meant will a stem cutting from a species that has tap roots form a plant with tap roots? So, do trees that would have a taproot form one if it was propagated from a stem cutting?

1 Like    Bookmark   January 16, 2011 at 9:18PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

Yes, many taprooted tree species can be propagated from cuttings even if you aren't including grafting. If you include grafting, the possibilities increase further.

Rooted cuttings do not form taproots like seedling plants. Some may tend to grow a number of more vertical roots than other types of plants, but they aren't real taproots.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2011 at 1:19AM
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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

Tap roots as applied to trees is not similar to carrots or dandelions. When a tree seed germinates it sends down a taproot, often before any top growth. This anchors the seedling until the horizontal roots which are the real feeder roots, and close to surface, can grow, where most of nutrients and oxygen is available. A one hundred foot tall Redwood tree will have a tap root of no more than 5 feet deep, while lateral roots can extend 100 feet from the trunk. Al

    Bookmark   January 19, 2011 at 10:11AM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

Al, If you're referring to my first post, I didn't imply that taprooted trees were similar to dandelions. The OP asked "Can/do plants propagated asexually by cutting form taproots?", and I was answering that question. Also, the differences in taprooted trees and carrots or dandelions does not change any of the answers or make them any less valid.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2011 at 1:24AM
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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

No brandon7 I was not referencing your posts, only attempting to correct a general assumption regarding trees and tap roots. Trees are normally propagated in tubes open at the bottom to air prune tap roots. Tap roots are not important for trees other than for the initial anchoring of a new seedling. For good well researched root information I would refer anyone to "Roots Demystified" a recent book by Robert Kourik. Al

    Bookmark   January 25, 2011 at 9:49AM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

"Tap roots are not important for trees other than for the initial anchoring of a new seedling."

Sorry, but that's simply not the case. Some trees develop a large taproot that continues to develop as the tree matures, and these taproots may be used for food/energy storage, additional support of mature trees, and/or continue to serve as a central hub for the lateral root system. Some trees remain very sensitive to taproot removal even after a significant lateral root system is in place. I wish I could find the picture I saw the other day of a taproot the size of a small car, but Google fails me at the moment.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2011 at 7:46PM
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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

If you find your reference brandon7 I would be very interested in reading it. Al

    Bookmark   January 28, 2011 at 10:03AM
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madrone(VancIsl BC)

Hope I'm not reading this question incorrectly. I have propagated some trees asexually by taking root cuttings from lateral roots, i.e. Euonymus europeaus and Corylus (filberts).

    Bookmark   January 30, 2011 at 4:52PM
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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

madrone if you read george's response to the OP, you got it correctly. Propagation from root cuttings has been known and written about since the 1600s. I would recommend a paperback book by Philip McMillan Browse, published by the Royal Horticultural Society, for providing very detailed directions for any propagator wishing to try this underused method of propagating plants. Al

    Bookmark   February 1, 2011 at 10:13AM
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Shule(about 4a)

So, what if you had a watermelon cutting? Watermelon usually have deep taproots (1 meter or so). Would the cutting produce smaller melons, or would the roots that aren't taproots form to compensate for that?

    Bookmark   February 26, 2015 at 1:38PM
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tete_a_tete

We are lead to believe that taproots go down and down and down, but sometimes they simply don't. Not that I have checked, of course, but I heard someone on the radio once and he said something that made sense to me (which is unusual).

I live in a clay soil area (a beautiful soil - I have no issues with it at all and it has been improved over the years with grass clippings, leaves, manure). Trees around here do not have a tap root that goes down and down and down, because of the soil. They tend to go out, out, out instead. So, not one main taproot but a cluster of roots.

I have often wondered about the root system of cuttings as opposed to the root system of seedlings. I assume that the latter have a stronger, better root system, but I don't know.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2015 at 2:23PM
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