Planting Depth During Container Production and Landscape Establishment Affects Growth of Ulmus parvifolia Academic Article uri icon


  • Planting depth during container production may influence plant growth, establishment, and subsequent landscape value. A lack of knowledge about the effects of common transplanting practices may lead to suboptimal performance of planted landscape trees. Planting depth, i.e., location of the root collar relative to soil grade, is of particular concern for posttransplant tree growth both when transplanted to larger containers during production and after transplanting into the landscape. It is unknown whether negative effects of poor planting practices are compounded during the production phases and affect subsequent landscape establishment. This study investigated effects of planting depth during two successive phases of container production (10.8 L and 36.6 L) and eventual landscape establishment using lacebark elm (Ulmus parvifolia Jacq.). Tree growth was greater when planted at grade during the initial container (10.8 L) production phase and was reduced when planted 5 cm below grade. In the second container production phase (36.6 L), trees planted above grade had reduced growth compared with trees planted at grade or below grade. For landscape establishment, transplanting at grade to slightly below or above grade produced trees with greater height on average when compared with planting below grade or substantially above grade, whereas there was no effect on trunk diameter. Correlations between initial growth and final growth in the field suggested that substantial deviations of the original root to shoot transition from at-grade planting was more of a factor in initial establishment of lacebark elm than the up-canning practices associated with planting depth during container production.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Bryan, D. L., Arnold, M. A., Volder, A., Watson, W. T., Lombardini, L., Sloan, J. J., Valdez-Aguilar, L. A., & Cartmill, A. D.

citation count

  • 5

complete list of authors

  • Bryan, Donita L||Arnold, Michael A||Volder, Astrid||Watson, W Todd||Lombardini, Leonardo||Sloan, John J||Valdez-Aguilar, Luis A||Cartmill, Andrew D

publication date

  • January 2010