Transplant season, irrigation, and planting depth effects on landscape establishment of baldcypress and sycamore Academic Article uri icon


  • Tree transplanting practices influence plant survival, establishment, and subsequent landscape value. The inability to adequately quantify effects of transplanting practices threatens long-term sustainability of landscape trees. Planting depth [i.e., location of the root collar relative to soil grade (soil surface)], is of particular concern for tree growth, development, and landscape performance. The authors of this study investigated the effects of planting depth and transplant season on landscape establishment of baldcypress [Taxodium distichum (L.) Rich.] and effects of planting depth and irrigation practices on landscape establishment of sycamore (Platanus occidentalis L.). Baldcypress planted above grade had reduced relative growth rate in height and diameter compared to those planted at or below grade during the first growing season, regardless of transplant season. Sycamore trees planted below grade had increased mortality and decreased growth compared to trees planted at grade or above grade, regardless of irrigation treatment. Even though trees of both species were grown under similar conditions, baldcypress was much more tolerant to belowgrade planting than sycamore. We suggest that this is related to the native habitat of both species, where baldcypress is frequently exposed to hypoxic conditions while sycamore is more prevalent on well-drained soils. Thus, it may be important to consider the native habitat of a species when evaluating the effect of planting depth. © 2010 International Society of Arboriculture.

author list (cited authors)

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

publication date

  • March 2010